At a speech this morning to the Georgetown University Law Center, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) discussed committee priorities this term such as immigration. From the Legal Times blog today:
The Senate Judiciary Committee will dedicate most of its time this spring to comprehensive immigration reform, including changes for technology companies and agricultural businesses, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee’s chairman, said Wednesday.
“We have to find a way through the partisan gridlock to enact meaningful change on immigration laws, and that should include a path for citizenship,” Leahy said at Georgetown University Law Center this morning. “I know I’m going to hear a lot of different views on this, but I hope that in the end we can honor those who came before us from distant lands in search of freedom and opportunity.”
The committee will start next month with public hearings, Leahy said. He did not mention specific proposals, but hinted at reforms targeting H1-B visas by mentioning “innovating for technology companies” and H2-A visas by mentioning the “hardworking men and women who play vital roles supporting our farmers.”
View Sen. Leahy’s full speech remarks here. Below are his comments on immigration:
I expect that the Judiciary Committee will devote most of our time this Spring working to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Few topics are more fundamental to who and what we are as a nation than immigration. Immigration throughout our history has been an ongoing source of renewal of our spirit, our creativity and vitality. From the young students brought to this country by their parents seeking a better life for them, to the hardworking men and women who play vital roles supporting our farmers, innovating for our technology companies, or creating businesses of their own, our nation relies on immigrants. We must find a way through the partisan gridlock to enact meaningful change, which should include a path for citizenship. Tackling this complex issue should inspire us to uphold the fundamental values of family and of hard work and of fairness. Next month we will begin this national discussion in the full Senate Judiciary Committee with public hearings. Although I expect there will be different views on many pieces of the reform effort, I hope that in the end we can honor those who came before us from distant lands in search of freedom and opportunity.