Rep. Kevin McCarthy: 'Immigration Reform Is Going to Happen'

By Susan Jones | November 25, 2013 | 6:44 AM EST

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, House Speaker John Boehner, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) - Is immigration reform dead?

"No, immigration reform is going to happen," Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the House Republican whip, told CBS's Bob Schieffer on "Face the Nation."

"But it's going to happen in a step-by-step method. And I will tell you, the president came out and supported that the other day."

House Republicans have refused to take up a "single, massive, Obamacare-like bill" passed by the Senate, preferring to work on their own "step-by-step, commonsense approach" to fixing a "broken system."

President Obama last week told a gathering of business executives  he's "actually optimistic that we’re going to get this done."

Obama praised the "comprehensive" Senate bill, insisting that the nation has to "deal with about 11 million folks who are in this country, most of them just seeking opportunity."

The president noted that Republicans are "suspicious of comprehensive bills, but if they want to chop that thing up into five pieces, as long as all five pieces get done, I don’t care what it looks like as long as it’s actually delivering on those core values that we talk about."

The current immigration system is "broken" and "needs to be fixed," McCarthy said on Sunday. "Forty-two percent of everyone that's here illegally came here legally," he said, a reference to people who overstayed their visas. "We need to fix this system."

President Obama  has said "there's no reason why we can't get this done before the end of the year."

On a trip to San Francisco on Monday, President Obama planned to press the House to pass immigration reform measures.

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