Leahy wants quick Senate action on immigration

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy yesterday said that he would be willing to allow just one hearing about comprehensive immigration reform legislation, which at the moment is still in the process of being drafted, as opposed to the lengthy review being called for by some Republican senators.

Leahy clarified his timetable for hearings in a letter written to Senator Marco Rubio, who is an important member of the “Gang of Eight” that is drafting the bill for US immigration reform.  Last month Rubio wrote to Leahy warning that “excessive haste in pursuit of a lasting solution” would be “dangerous” to the aim of immigration reform, cautioning that rushing the process would damage the attempt to gain the confidence of the American public on the issue.

Leahy, however, while maintaining that he wants the process to be open, has nonetheless reiterated the stance of the Senate Judiciary Committee (of which he is the chairman) that has held a series of hearings about the issue already, and that while this particular proposal has not been dealt with, one hearing to discuss it is all he feels is necessary.

“I will, however, remain mindful of the urgent need for us to actually get to the work of debating and considering amendments without unnecessary delay because this is an issue to which our attention is long overdue,” Leahy wrote.  Leahy believes that quick and decisive action on the part of Congress is vital to avoid losing the opportunity that has been presented to them.