By The Associated Press

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says it would be difficult for Congress to tackle Sen. Marco Rubio's immigration bill this year.

At his weekly news conference Thursday, Boehner said the current political environment is hostile and taking on the divisive issue of immigration would be hard. Boehner said he had spoken to the Florida Republican senator about his still-evolving bill.

Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, is working on legislation that would permit young illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. with their parents to apply for non-immigrant visas.

They would be allowed to stay to study or work and obtain a driver's license but would not be able to vote. They later could apply for residency, but they would not have a special path to citizenship.

Republicans generally have said they won't support any legislation that would lead to amnesty, or a forgiveness of someone's illegal status. They also have said they ant the Mexican border secured before other aspects of immigration reform are undertaken.