Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) on Monday called a proposal by a bipartisan group of senators to overhaul the immigration system a "positive first step" and promised to do "everything in my power" to help a bipartisan bill pass the Senate this year.

"This is a positive first step. But the true test of our congressional leadership will be to pass a comprehensive bill," he said in a speech on the Senate floor. "As a senator from Nevada, who has for years witnessed firsthand the difficulties our broken immigration system presents for immigrants and their families, it is very important to me, personally, that we finally resolve this issue."

Reid said Congress must pursue a comprehensive revision of immigration laws--not individual bills rewriting sections of the code piecemeal. And he said bipartisan action is key.

"We’ve been doing this alone," Reid said of his fellow Democrats. "It's good to have some friends and partners in this effort."