Immigration Reform News 2013 Update: Obama Meets John McCain at White House to Discuss Immigration Progress

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(Photo: Reuters)U.S. Senator John McCain.

President Barack Obama and Senator John McCain met at the White House on Thursday to discuss possible future steps in immigration reform.

McCain previously met with Obama earlier in the fall when the United States was facing a tense back and forth with Syria and Russia over potential action in the region following chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Obama and McCain of course were former rivals and faced one another in the 2008 presidential election. However, despite that rivalry the pair have developed a mutual respect for one another and are increasingly meeting together to discuss hot button issues facing the United States.

Immigration has been a major issue for both Obama and McCain, but the topic has often taken a back seat to other pressing matters arising that the president has had to tackle.

Most recently the government shutdown saw scheduled immigration talks sidelined as the country focused on political posturing in Washington. The issue of Obamacare has also taken center stage in recent weeks as extensive problems have been encountered with the new health care website since its launch.

President Obama has promised to put immigration back in the spotlight though, and his meeting with McCain appears to be a step in his efforts to do this.

Obama has indicated his belief that there is significant support across party lines to get real progress made in relation to immigration reform right now. Recently re-elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has previously said that he wanted his state to offer tuition to undocumented immigrants. He, as well as a number of other Republicans, have voiced their support for a pathway to citizenship being created by immigration reform.

Obama recently met with business executive earlier this week and offered an optimistic outlook on what the future holds for immigration reform: "What's been encouraging is, is that there are a number of House Republicans who have said, we think this is the right thing to do, as well. And it's my estimation that we actually have votes to get comprehensive immigration reform done in the House right now."