110th Congress Convenes, Senate Prioritizes Immigration Reform

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 07010562 (posted Jan. 5, 2007)"

When the 110th Congress convened on Thursday, January 4, 2007, the new Senate leadership set the stage for a bipartisan push for comprehensive immigration reform. In a statement before the newly formed Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced the top ten legislative priorities of the Senate leadership, including comprehensive immigration reform as S. 9, the ninth bill of the 110th Congress. "Our bill will take a comprehensive approach to repairing this broken [immigration] system," Reid said. "With tough and smart reforms, it will secure our borders, crack down on enforcement, and lay out a path to earned legalization for undocumented immigrants already living here." Currently a "Sense of the Senate" resolution, S. 9 will function as a placeholder until senators complete a draft of their comprehensive immigration reform proposal.

In keeping with the bipartisan spirit of the Senate's first meeting, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) echoed Reid's sense of urgency about immigration reform. In his remarks before the new Senate, McConnell said, "Immigration is one of the most pressing issues of our day. We should be daring about immigration reform - and act on it soon. The voters demand it. We have a duty to deliver."

Immigration featured less prominently on the first day of 110th House of Representatives, as the newly constituted House made history by electing Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the first woman Speaker of the House, and the Democratic majority prepared to plunge into its "first 100 hours" legislative agenda, slated to begin next week. The House Democrats' 100 hours agenda does not include comprehensive immigration reform, but the House is nonetheless expected to take up immigration issues within the first 100 days of the session.