But he also refused to say if the president would accept legislation which offered illegal immigrants legal status but stopped short of full citizenship, a proposal which is being considered by some Republicans.
“What we should do here is let the Republicans put forward their plan,” said Pfeiffer on “Fox News Sunday.”
Obama has long called for a comprehensive immigration bill which includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. A bipartisan Senate bill including such language passed last year, but has stalled in the GOP House amid opposition from conservative lawmakers who view such proposals as “amnesty.”
Reports said that GOP lawmakers were considering their own proposal which could offer legal status but not citizenship for illegal immigrants.
“The president has been very clear about what he wants, he’s talked about it for years, he campaigned on it in 2012, he supported the Senate bill, which included a path for citizenship,” said Pfeiffer.
"We think it's progress that the Republicans are going to put something forward. We know this is not easy for them, that there are some divisions in their party over it but let's see what they put forward and see if we can make some progress,” he added.
Asked if Obama would hammer Republicans on the issue in Tuesday's State of the Union address, Pfeiffer responded said that “the president has been very consistent that he wants to see what they put forward.”