Facing Reelection, Reid Leads Calls for Immigration Reform "This Year"

By Diego Graglia, FI2W web editor
Sen. Harry Reid - Photo: reid.senate.gov

Sen. Harry Reid - Photo: reid.senate.gov

Since the Obama Administration took office, immigration reform has seemed to go forward in fits and starts. The White House’s cautious approach has led pro-immigration advocates to cherish every bit of reassuring news they can find.

One source for this type of news has been Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.), who late last year started speaking in favor of reforming the nation’s immigration laws. Last Thursday, at a time when the nation’s pundits were preoccupied with several other topics, Reid raised the issue once more: he said comprehensive immigration reform is “going to happen this session, but I want it this year, if at all possible,” according to The Washington Post.

The Post‘s Ben Pershing added that Reid called immigration reform “one of his three top priorities this year, along with health care and energy.”

Reid’s comments appear aimed at maintaining the support of Hispanic voters, since he will need them next year, when he is up for reelection. Nevada is one of the states in which Latino votes played a pivotal role in the Obama’s victory last fall.

“(W)hile Nevada broke for President-elect Barack Obama by 12 percentage points in November, the state voted for President George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004,” said a story in The Wall Street Journal in December, when Reid was already working on his campaign.

The WSJ article said Reid could face a tough battle to keep his seat, citing low approval ratings and calling him “perhaps the most vulnerable Democrat who will face reelection” in the mid-term vote.

On Thursday –La Opinión reported– Reid said an immigration reform bill “must be comprehensive and include more border security, worker programs –not only focused on agriculture– and measures for people who do not have documents today to legalize their situation”.

The Los Angeles Spanish-language newspaper also said other legislators are actively pushing for reform. Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D.-Ill.) and Sen. Bob Menéndez (D.-N.J.) held a forum with activists of the Reform Immigration For America campaign in Washington last week.

These efforts will lead up to a meeting the White House will host on June 17 with lawmakers and activists to discuss immigration reform.

5 comments

  1. Nina Mold

    Comprehensive immigration reform MUST include provision for foreign investors in small businesses (E2 investors)

    to apply for permanent residence.

    We are here legally, create employment for US citizens, yet we can never become citizens ourselves!

    E2 investors are good for America and contribute to the economy. Let us stay!

    It’s not just about the illegals, those here legally need help too.

  2. norman Kuvawoga

    The minute America became hostile to immigrants Illegal or not, the economy started crumbling. Mind you France and other European nations started talking of throwing out immigrants and the evidence of that evil mindset is there for all of us to see. RECESSION. So many companies are closing for lack of laborers. Fruit and vegetable,mines,construction etc.

    Besides what do you gain from throwing out someone who has lived here 5 or so years. Rather make them legal and possibly impose a fine for every year they have lived here, that money can go towards building the border fence, hiring more immmigration officers and the like.

  3. Bad Bob

    Americans have been slow to respond to yet another enemy, Mexico. The U.S. has been literally invaded by Mexicans though they came looking for jobs and a better life. The result, however, has been enormous financial burdens on all aspects of our society from schools to hospitals to welfare and to crime. There are an estimated 12 million illegal Mexicans and others from south of the border and Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leaders, wants to push through another amnesty bill.

    The last amnesties only resulted in a greater rush to enter the U.S. Only a handful in public office will address the fact that the Mexican government has openly encouraged this invasion because the money sent home is a significant part of its economy. It is a major trading partner, but it looks to become totally controlled by the narco lords.

  4. Norski

    If you really knew history you would know the flood of unskilled immigrant labor that came to the U.S. 100 years ago is the reason why we control Immigration today. That flood was so devastating the U.S. unemployment rate reached 32% for manufacturing, mining, and transportation workers by 1910.

    And that was not the first time this happened. The big German/Irish migration prior to the Civil War caused severe unemployment. In the post Civil War period more Northern European immigration caused it to happen again. And the loathsome Chinese Exclusion Act was a response to unemployment above 30% in California. Ellis Island was opened to help control Immigration against a backdrop of high unemployment caused by another wave of mass immigration. Thanks to that wave in addition to high unemployment nationwide the states of Maine, Michigan, and Kansas experienced unemployment rates exceeding 50%.

    Thanks to Immigration Control we have not had a repeat of high unemployment (with the exception of the Great Depression) until now. And that is why we started limiting immigration in the first place and why make those who violate those limits illegal.

    But the massive number of Illegal Immigrants who have flooded the USA in the last decade made a joke of those limits and now we can add 2009 to the other five times in our history where excessive immigration has been followed by excessive unemployment. This is simple Economics 101 – an oversupply of labor drives down wages, which in turn shrinks disposable income, which in turn adds a whole lot of impetus to the normal recessionary cycle when it comes, which then produces large scale unemployment. With the current unemployment situation the score is now Economics 101 six, massive immigration supporters zero. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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