Published: Sep 17, 2010 3:59 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 17, 2010 12:59 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is promising to work with senators to help pass legislation allowing thousands of young people who attend college or join the military to become legal U.S. residents, according to Hispanic lawmakers who met Thursday with the president.

"The president made it absolutely clear to us that he would leave no stone unturned" in pushing for Senate approval of what's known as the DREAM Act, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Calif., said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has said he wants to add the immigration measure to a defense policy bill the Senate plans to take up before lawmakers leave town to campaign for the November elections.

Republicans oppose that move and have accused Reid of playing politics with the bills.

Some military leaders support Reid because of the recruitment potential for the armed services. Under the bill, the young people must have come to the U.S. before age 16 and have lived here for five years. At least two years of military service would be required.