"The case of Mr Gross is obviously very important for the government," US delegation head Edward Alex Lee said, stressing that the issue has been and will be a key point in all their interactions with the Cuban government. (Agencies)
"Our desire is that Mr Gross be freed. We think that Mr Gross should be with his family" in the United States, added Lee.
The acting deputy assistant secretary of state was speaking at a press conference after migration talks with Cuban officials.
Gross, 64, was detained in Cuba in December 2009 and sentenced to 15 years' jail time in March 2011 for distributing laptops and communications equipment to members of Cuba's small Jewish community for a company that was under a contract with the US State Department.
The migration talks between the two countries which have not had full diplomatic ties since 1961, took place in a "frank" and "friendly atmosphere," the two sides said, although there was no indication the strained relations would improve.
This round of talks, the second since the two countries resumed contacts on migratory issues last year, seeks to achieve a "safe, legal and orderly migration between Cuba and United States," according to US officials.
It came a month after US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raoul Castro shared a handshake in South Africa at a memorial ceremony for the late Nelson Mandela.
The Gross case has been the main obstacle Obama has faced in trying to improve relations with the Americas' only communist nation.
Lee said Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have insisted the United States "wants a new relationship with Cuba" but first Havana must take steps to improve its human rights record.
Every year, thousands of Cubans jeopardize their lives in an attempt to arrive in the US via rudimentary boats and rafts.
Under US policy, undocumented Cuban immigrants who are intercepted at sea are generally repatriated, while those who reach US soil are allowed to stay and gain residency within a year. Cuba has long opposed the policy, saying it encourages illegal migration.
"The case of Mr Gross is obviously very important for the government," US delegation head Edward Alex Lee said, stressing that the issue has been and will be a key point in all their interactions with the Cuban government.