WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A top congressional Democrat from Illinois says he has temporarily surrendered his longtime post to work on immigration reform.
Rep. Luis Gutierrez says he has joined the House Judiciary Committee to work on the issue that has evaded solution for years, The Hill reported Friday.
Gutierrez's switch -- from the House Financial Services Committee -- follows President Barack Obama's pledge to make immigration reform a top issue in his second term.
Calling such reform "my passion," Gutierrez said in a statement Friday "all of the road signs are pointed in the right direction, and I felt I must be on the Judiciary Committee during this Congress to help the others on the committee get immigration reform to the finish line."
Gutierrez has served on the Financial Services Committee for more than 20 years and described his move to the other committee as temporary.
Obama received 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in November after he announced a program granting temporary legal status to some illegal immigrants.