updated 5/4/2011 8:48:56 AM ET 2011-05-04T12:48:56

Having met with business leaders and entertainment stars on stalled immigration reform, President Barack Obama on Tuesday heard from Hispanic lawmakers who have been pressuring him to help certain immigrants stay in the U.S. while they wait for congressional action.

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The meeting with members of the all-Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus was the president's third on immigration in as many weeks. But none has led to a major breakthrough.

Story: Obama assembles all-star cast to talk immigration

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who has been one of Obama's toughest critics, said the president agreed that it makes little sense to deport young people who have grown up in the U.S. after they were brought to the country illegally by parents. Such children are often called DREAMers, in reference to the proposed DREAM Act that would have given many of them a chance to remain legally in the U.S. The bill failed last year, but it is expected to be introduced again this session.

Dream Act blocked in Senate

"How is the president going to proceed? You guys are going to have to ask him," Gutierrez told reporters on the White House grounds. He said last month that he was uncertain whether he could support the Obama in 2012 if the president didn't step up immigration changes.

Video: Dream Act supporter: 'We will continue to fight'

Rep. Charlie Gonzalez of Texas said the caucus would like to see consistent policies on how young illegal immigrants are treated. In some but not all cases, students' deportations are delayed, he said.

Earlier in the day, White House advisers Melody Barnes and Cecilia Munoz told reporters in a briefing that the White House would not agree to proposals suggesting executive action to declare categorically that certain segments of the immigrant community would be exempted from deportation.

But when asked whether the administration was asking the Homeland Security Department to consider taking different approaches on deportation or other issues, Barnes and Munoz said the department was considering a range of actions.

"The president stressed absolutely that the real fix is going to have to be legislative," Gonzalez said.

There has been widespread disappointment among many immigrants and their supporters that Obama has been unable to persuade Congress to pass an immigration bill, particularly early in his term when Democrats held majorities in the House and Senate.

Population grows, but Latinos lag at the polls

The issue, combined with the administration's continued tough immigration enforcement — nearly 393,000 were deported last year — could affect the high support among Hispanics that Obama enjoyed in 2008.

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Video: The Hispanic vote and the 2010 elections

  1. Closed captioning of: The Hispanic vote and the 2010 elections

    >> a huge determining factor in nevada . with as many expected to hit the polls, their vote may tip the scales in several tight races around the country. maria theresa kumar is also an msnbc crib tor. what are you hearing from people regarding the turnout in the community?

    >> folks are really excited. they're pumped. we are starting to hear about voter intimidation not just in nevada , but also in arizona. that's a big concern. so we're encouraging people to contact the election community and really start, you know, moving the forward but also talking about issues.

    >> we working to confirm any allegations of voter intimidation , if they exist we will certainly report and bring that information to you. it's one thing to say they're not enthusiastic already. who is showing up?

    >> there's an increase of early voting since 2006 . one race folks are starting to look at closely is colorado . colorado is neck to neck.

    >> already looking? it's game day .

    >> they're starting to look at it on a historical context. colorado is one-third democratic, one-third republican, and one-third independent. i bet you that's what the rest of the country is going to look at. when we look at colorado , latinos are dissatisfied right now because they have among the highest foreclosure rates. they're also dissatisfied with unemployment. and they are specifically saying why should we turn out?

    >> and there was that very controversial ad that actually said don't vote. but if voters are dissatisfied, the polling -- or at least early polling shows the dissatisfied voters were leaning towards the republican party . is that's what is happening?

    >> the reason is because the latinos feel they aren't getting what they need from the republican party . that means unfortunately have divisive language. it really breeds hate. latinos are really looking for solutions. for example, voter latino this last week, we knocked on over so,000 doors in florida, in nevada , in arizona, in california. we know that it's voter to voter contact that at the


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