As the debate on immigration reform rages on, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is working on another alternate proposal that, if finalized, could be discussed on Capitol Hill this year.

This week, U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Cali., met with the press and informed them that the caucus, which is made up of more than two dozen Latino legislators in Congress from around the nation, was in the process of drafting new immigration reform legislation for Washington to consider. Currently, Sanchez said, legislators in the caucus were in what was described as the "first phase" of creating a bill.

The debate on immigration reform has been one that has dragged on bitterly for years. While the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan proposal last year -- aimed at overhauling the nation's immigration system affecting roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. -- the U.S. House of Representatives declined to even consider putting the bill on the House floor for a vote.

"We had enough votes to (get it passed), but the speaker of the House (Republican John Boehner) had no intention of submitting it to a vote," Sanchez said at the conference.

Shortly after the Republican Party gained control of both congressional houses in the November midterm elections, President Barack Obama enacted controversial executive actions on immigration reform which were blasted by angry GOP members as unlawful. A Texas federal judge has since placed a hold on those actions, and the Obama administration has sent the matter to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the ban; the matter has yet to be decided.

The new proposal being crafted by the Hispanic caucus -- whose mission is to advocate for issues affecting millions of Latinos in the U.S. and Puerto Rico -- is said to have similar components to bill submitted to the then-Democrat-controlled Senate last year from the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" panel, which could feasibly cause similar issues in passing Congress, especially now with Republicans in charge of both houses.

However, U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., was more optimistic about the bill's chances in a GOP-controlled Congress, noting that the issue of immigration reform would be at the forefront during the 2016 presidential election. Recent polls have shown that overall, Latinos overwhelmingly support President Obama's executive actions on immigration reform, and with the Hispanic vote having turned out in record numbers for the 2012 election -- with 71 percent voting for President Obama over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, and the demographic helping Obama win key battleground states en route to victory -- the Latino voting bloc appears to be poised to make some sort of impact in the next election.

Gallego told reporters that his fellow caucus legislators are seeking to protect Obama's executive actions, and that the two programs would make it much easier to enact down the road legislation that would facilitate a way for five million undocumented immigrants nationwide to come "out of the shadows."

"We want to protect DACA and DAPA," he said.