- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a leading voice in the immigration reform debate, sent a strong word of caution Sen. Jeff Sessions’ way: Don’t “discredit the process” of scheduled Senate talks.

“I hope it is not your intention to discredit the process we undertake in the Judiciary Committee before we begin,” Mr. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, wrote in a personal letter to Mr. Sessions, Alabama Republican, as reported by Roll Call. The letter was a response to one penned by Mr. Sessions and signed by five fellow GOP senators expressing concerns that immigration reform would not be given enough debate time when it comes to the Senate floor in April, Roll Call reports.

“As chairman, I have been fair and protected the rights of all members of the committee, Republicans and Democrats, throughout my tenure,” Mr. Leahy wrote in his letter. “I intend to proceed to comprehensive immigration reform with all deliberate speed.”

Mr. Leahy also assured in his letter that he “was always available” to hear concerns about unfair and partisan treatment.

“I have gone out of my way to protect the rights of the minority on the committee, despite the treatment Democratic senators received preceding my chairmanship,” he wrote, as Roll Call reports.

Mr. Sessions has not yet responded to Mr. Leahy’s letter, at least in the Roll Call report.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Immigration Reform

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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