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Originally published Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 1:54 PM

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Leahy says speed important on immigration bill

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is responding to Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's request for a deliberate and thorough process on immigration legislation - telling Rubio that speed is of the essence.

Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee is responding to Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's request for a deliberate and thorough process on immigration legislation - telling Rubio that speed is of the essence.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy says in a letter released Tuesday that Rubio is suggesting the Senate slow down consideration of immigration legislation. Leahy says lawmakers must act swiftly and decisively, but also thoroughly.

But Leahy also says he'll consider scheduling a hearing on comprehensive immigration legislation that Rubio and other senators plan to release next week. Rubio's spokesman says that's a good sign.

The back-and-forth stems from Rubio's public cautions against haste on immigration. Rubio is trying to win conservative support for the bill and argues that a deliberate process is necessary for that to happen.

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