WASHINGTON (AP) -- Immigrant youth activists called on leading Senate Democrats Tuesday to demand that President Barack Obama curb deportations -- even as Obama tried to keep up pressure on the House GOP.

The developments highlighted a split among Democrats and immigration advocates as some push for immediate executive action by Obama to help people here illegally, while others say the focus should stay on House Republicans while there's still a chance, however slim, that they'll act on immigration legislation.

At the White House, Obama addressed law enforcement officers, exhorting them to lobby Speaker John Boehner and House Republicans ahead of November midterm elections.

"We've got maybe a window of two, three months to get the ball rolling in the House of Representatives. And your voices are going to be absolutely critical to that effort," said the president.

Obama said he believed Boehner wants to get immigration done, blaming "a handful of House Republicans" for inaction 11 months after the Senate passed a far-reaching bill with billions for border security and a path to citizenship for the 11.5 million people in the country illegally.

Not long after the president spoke, several dozen youth immigration activists gathered in a park near the Capitol wearing blue shirts with the slogan, "Obama Deports Parents!"


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They held a news conference and rally before taking their demands to the offices of three Senate Democrats -- Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Michael Bennet. Reid is the majority leader and Schumer and Bennet were leaders on the immigration bill, but the three have yet to call on Obama as forcefully as advocates would like to take executive action to limit deportations and allow some of the immigrants in this country illegally to stay here.

"Democrats I hope you're ready for us because we're coming," said Julieta Garibay, a leader of the group United We Dream, which represents immigrants brought to the country illegally as youths. "Democrats you cannot continue to hide behind the Republicans ... You need to stand with our families."