Gutierrez, the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force, recently met with a number of Republican lawmakers who are likely to play a prominent role in upcoming immigration reform negotiations. He discussed immigration reform with both Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) in December.
Gutierrez, who was the third-ranking Democrat on the Financial Service Committee, will likely be the 13th ranking Democrat on the Judiciary committee. The move was announced Friday.
President Obama has vowed to make immigration reform a top priority of his second term and already a number of legislators have begun initial talks on immigration reform legislation.
"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 said in a statement. "We are poised for serious action to fix our broken immigration system, a top priority for Democrats, for the Democratic leadership, and for the president, and I have spoken to numerous Republicans in the House and Senate who want to get it done."
Gutierrez thanked the Democratic leadership for approving the move.
"I look forward to working with the chairman and the subcommittee chairmen and the Ranking Member, Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), and the Immigration Subcommittee Ranking Leader, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), in crafting bipartisan immigration reform that fixes our broken immigration system," Gutierrez also said in the statement.