The U.S. has strategic reasons right now to strengthen ties with the Central Asian nation, despite its poor record on human rights.
The president signed a proclamation in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., but he ignored questions from the press pool.
The president's private Palm Beach, Florida club reportedly hires more workers from Haiti than it does from nearly any other country.
The briefing came as the president prepared to depart for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The president, who frequently attacks the news media, says the nation's current libel laws were "a sham and a disgrace."
The president was speaking at a news conference with Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg.
"I'll take the heat" if voters in both parties object to comprehensive immigration reform, said the president.
The event with Norway's Erna Solberg was the president's first press conference of the new year.
The president will address the annual convention of the American Farm Bureau.