"I'm not going to prejudge what gets to my desk," he told CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday.
"I think the principle that we don't want two classes of people in America is a principle that a lot of people agree with, not just me, and not just Democrats," he added, saying he believes Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) "really do want to get a serious immigration reform bill done."
House Republican leaders on Thursday unveiled a list of "principles" for immigration policy that they plan to use in crafting legislation. Those guiding points did not include a special path to citizenship, but did provide opportunities for skilled workers and children of undocumented immigrants.
"The fact that they're for something, I think, is progress," Obama told Tapper.
He said he was "encouraged" that Boehner and some of his fellow Republicans recognized that the country would be made stronger if, for example, children of undocumented immigrants were not punished.
"If the speaker proposes something that says right away folks aren't being deported, families aren't being separated, we're able to attract top young students to provide the skills or start businesses here and then there's a regular process of citizenship, I'm not sure how wide the divide ends up being," he said. "That's why I don't want to prejudge it."
Watch below, courtesy of CNN: