Senate Leader Reid Says He Can Find Enough Votes to Pass Immigration Reform

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

Sen. Harry Reid - Photo:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) says that even if a dozen Democratic senators decide not to back an immigration reform bill, he is “sure” the votes can come from Republicans.

Reid –who’s becoming ever more vocal about this issue — said that he was willing to put “the Democratic Party’s reputation on the line for immigration reform,” reported. His comments are being closely monitored by Spanish-language media around the country.

The leader has acknowledged that not all 59 Democratic senators may back a comprehensive reform bill. Losing 10 or 12 votes from his own ranks, he added, “would leave us at 48. But I am sure that we will find 12 Republicans. I have no doubts this will be the case.”

Sixty votes are needed in the Senate to end a filibuster.

Speculation –and concrete vote tallies– become more important as lawmakers from both parties prepare for next Wednesday’s meeting on immigration with President Barack Obama.‘s Jorge Cancino reported the White House expects the talks will lead to the introduction of a reform bill “in the fall.”

While President Obama’s approach to immigration seems extremely deliberate to many –especially those hoping for a comprehensive reform bill including the legalization of millions of undocumented people–, so far he has been following the careful path he charted during the campaign and the first weeks of his presidency. While he announced early on, in February, that he was “very committed” to passing a reform, he said work would begin this year on “a draft” proposal — stopping short of promising that a bill would become law in 2009.

While Reid seems confident he can get an immigration bill through the Senate, the House –where 218 votes are needed– is another matter, noted Antonieta Cádiz, a La Opinión reporter.

Cádiz also talked to Reid, who told her he has had several conversations on the issue with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.). “She perfectly understands how important immigration reform is,” he said.

We can’t deport 11 million undocumented people, we can’t do it physically and financially, as some would want,” Reid said in yet another interview, this time with news service Agencia EFE.

Immigration is the strength of our country, we bring waves of people to our country who excel in education and the workforce, and that’s good.

We should bring them out of the shadows so that when someone goes to buy milk for their child they’re not subject to arrest. Let’s clean the slate, let’s have a new immigration program that protects our northern and southern borders, a program that brings (these) people out of shadows and makes them more productive.


  1. Delaware Bob

    When is Reid going to learn the American people don’t want AMNESTY for these ILLEGAL ALIENS. Take away the benefits and clamp down on the employers and these ILLEGAL ALIENS will no doubt self-deport. If they don’t, we’ll deal with that.

    Obama, the Senators and Representatives took an oath to uphold the laws of this land. DO IT!


    AMNESTY is a slap in the face to the American people and a slap in the face to those waiting to come to this Country LEGALLY. If these ILLEGAL ALIENS really want to be part of America, let them go back to their own country and apply to come here LEGALLY!


  2. Eugene

    God bless you, Senator!!! Millions of good people who just want to live their lives and succeed are very thankfull to what you do!

  3. Ali

    How do illegal aliens EXCEL in education or the workforce?! Harry Reid’s going to have lot of explaining to do to Democrats like me or my retiree brother who has just had to return to work because of GM’s bankruptcy. We aren’t buying amnesty no matter how Reid and the Party try to package it.

  4. Katie

    No amnesty. Our country is in financial trouble, We cannot afford to let the illegals stay any longer. There are proper ways to be in the U.S.A. Stop chain migration. English only. No paperwork, DEPORT them. And Mr. Obama please do not stop E-Verify, it works, leave it and enforce it and all other laws pertaining to immigration.

  5. levotb

    Reid is out of his mind. Amnesty will never pass. McCain, Collins and Snowe may vote for it but Sessions and/or DeMint will filibuster it and never let it see the light of day. The People have spoken and sentiment against Amnesty is greater than it’s ever been. That huge Patriot march in D.C. 9/10-12 may turn into an anti-Amnesty march if Reid continues on this course. No issue fires up conservatives more than giving legalization to 40 million Border jumpers.

  6. anonymous

    Why is no one talking abt eliminating the backlog in empoyment/family based immigration. I think it has equal importance when compared with bringing undocumented people into legal status.

  7. Hi! We at Kartemquin are trying to get the word out to the blogging community about the upcoming PBS broadcast of our seven hour documentary series, The New Americans. Our documentary chronicles the experiences of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees as they journey to start new lives in America. Feel free to check out our website: And if you like what you see, we’d love any help we can get from bloggers like yourself who are concerned with the struggles immigrants face in the U.S. today. Thanks!

  8. Jimi

    Can’t is frequent term used by congress these days. Maybe they should read up on their hero, FDR who removed 2 million illegal aliens after the foreclosure riots in 1933. Or maybe Ike who removed another 2 million illegal Mexicans in 1954’s “Operation Wetback”.

    The only thing holding back immigration law enforcement is the lack of testes in the current crew in DC.

    If E-verify was manditory, welfare and goodies for illegals were cut off and illegal employers imprisoned, there would be a mass “Mexodus” south to the border.

  9. Donald

    Senator Reid is delusional. There will be no Amnesty in 2009. That being said the first order of businss in 2010 for the nation as a whole will be for the good people of Nevada to vote Harry Reid out of office. Not only is he the worse Senate majority leader in the hisory of that lesislative body but he has proven to be unpatriotic and traitorous to this country with his pro amnesty rantings especially during these trying economic times. Harry Reid must go in 2010!

  10. June

    Senator Reid,

    I’d like to know if you have the courage to stand before the American public and tell us why you prefer illegals aliens to taxpaying, loyal, patriotic and VOTING Americans!

    And if you think illegals are in the shadows, you haven’t been out much. They are marching in the streets, demanding equal rights immediately, they are in schools, hospitals and prisons. They are in the neighborhoods, they are driving drunk and killing innocent people. They are raping, robbing and molesting children. They are leaving tons of refuse on our borders and they are destroying our language and culture. That’s where they are and why they are turning the US into a third world nation. So, as you throw in your lot with criminals, at least have the courage to tell us why.

  11. james

    people of nevada, those who can vote, this coming election in 2010 is the perfect time to vote harry reid out of office because its clear that he does not represent the will of the people anymore.

    You know, in 1983 on the senate floor then senator reid said illegals cost the taxpayer too much and that he was against any and all amnesty, but now 16 years later, after having been bought off by the casino and mining companies in nevada and probably after listening to his own immigrant wife, he has done a complete 180.

    here is a link to the speech,. i hope its not removed

    read this and compare it to his stance of wanting to give amnesty to illegals

  12. Nina

    Delaware Bob,

    Like most Americans, you don’t seem to understand that illigal aliens cannot simply return home and apply to come back legally.

    They cannot ‘wait in line’, as people are so fond of saying. There is no line. Without a relative or employer to sponsor you, there are only three ways in;

    marriage to a US citizen (not an option for most people) investment (my only option – I employ 7 citizens but have no path to permanent residence), or illegal entry.

    Now do you see why we need reform? The vast majority of illegal aliens would not qualify, even if people without sponsors could apply. They know that, that’s why they sneak in. In Australia, they insist you speak fluent English and can support yourself and your dependents before they will consider letting you immigrate.

    The only way to halt the influx of illegals is to withdraw all welfare support. Make it possible for people who have no sponsor, but who have skills that America needs, to enter and stay. E2 investors like me who bought small businesses, came here legally, pay taxes and create employment should be able to plan a future here, but can only get a non-immigrant visa.

    Support E2 reform

  13. unanimous

    Don’t fool urselves.Everybody here apart from native Americans are immigrants.So dont be self centred.You can as well go back to where ur forefathers came from if u don want those that came as them to be documented.America is a new world.

  14. Bobby

    Mr. Harry Reid, Mrs. Nancy Pelosi, the California Democratic Party, and so many other politicians are outright traitors to the taxpaying U.S. citizenry for allowing the invasion from Mexico. That is what it is, an economic attack against the U.S. citizenry, that takes our jobs, destroys the wages and benefits of our jobs, and allows millions of foreign nationals to be used as a constant threat to Americans by La Raza and other largely Mexican ethnic interest groups. Americans are goind to slip into a dictatorship, unless they demand that the laws they created are enforced. Period. There is nothing else to say, either get involved or kiss your nation goodbye to the traitors that are bringing it down.

  15. Steve

    The American people do NOT want or need “comprehensive immigration reform” which is code language for amnesty for 12-20 million largely impoverished illegal aliens. The only “reform” needed is to finally enforce our immigration laws — which was promised during the 1986 IRCA amnesty (which, by the way, was supposed to be a one-time amnesty).

    With over 14 million Americans out of work, there will be a HUGE uproar amongst the American people if Reid and Obama peddle amnesty.

  16. Lara

    Most of middle American does NOT want to reward illegal immigration. NO AMNESTY! We did that in the 1990s, and it was supposed to be a one time deal! Illegal immigrants need to be deported to their home countries.

  17. OAB

    The fact that these people don’t pay taxes is completely erroneous. Anyone ever heard of sales tax at the local level? What about taxes withheld from employers that go unclaimed by people without paperwork? Oh, and shall we simply ignore the fact that many employers chose to pay a below-living wage to hardworking people that sacrifice everything to simply attain the basic opportunity (and nothing else) for the same educational and career advancement that our forefathers that made this country attempted to have? Laborers agree to this informal labor agreement to simply have the opportunity to survive.

    Our cost of living — food, housing, & services — is highly subsidized by an arduous and committed workforce often disregarded as “illegal subjects.” The fact that the same percentage of immigrants when compared to the domestic population commits crime should not warrant the label that all immigrants, as JUNE posted, “Driv[e] drunk and kill[] innocent people.”

    Face the facts and don’t play name calling games. Let’s at least pretend to be mature and rational people. The age of globalization and free trade agreements have created a playing field beyond domestic borders which fosters the free flow of goods and services. It is tough to believe that labor will stay put. Our country faces a labor shortage when it comes to bathroom scrubbing, fruit picking, and plate cleaning job opportunities. No one else will do it, otherwise entrepreneurs will hire the willing and able on the domestic front. It just turns out that our partners in Latin America and Asian are able to meet that demand. How convenient that our public policy does not go hand in hand with the economic realities of today.

    I am skeptical of amnesty provisions, but it may be a start if we can make undocumented laborers begin registering themselves at the border. If they continue working here (and pay the same taxes we all pay), fair game. If they choose to go back, do so and pay an exit fee.

    Let’s reconsider immigration reform in a way that respects the toil of immigrant laborers, provides incentives to paying taxes (and appropriate fees), and manages a global platform for labor and economic growth.

    Failure to incorporate these aspects in our conversation on immigration leads us to incomplete and polarizing arguments on security, legality, and language.

    This is a good start. Let’s continue with an informed dialogue to shape effective and humane public policy that meets the challenges of the 21st century.

  18. tennakoon

    Please help us to see our beloved kids; wife ,parents we are human too as you.President Obama has two kids he is loving them I have two kids I love them too as Obama love his kids but I never see my kids in six years how sad…..

  19. Tony

    Pappy Says:

    “Harry Reid is scum.

    Americans don’t want another amnesty.

    But of course he could care less.”

    Actually, Reid COULDN’T care less, which means that his level of caring is at zero.

  20. Steve


    No sensible person is saying illegals don’t pay taxes; rather what relatively little they pay in taxes in dwarfed by what they consume in public services. The Heritage Foundation reported that if the 2007 amnesty bill had passed, it would have imposed a long-term net tax burden of at least $2.6 TRILLION. And stop repeating the tired myth that there are jobs Americans will not do. Americans will do the jobs as long as the pay and benefits are decent — just ask municipal sanitation workers.

    The point it is well past time to finally enforce our laws, as if we don’t there will be these endless calls for amnesty. Plus if we truly secure our southern border and cut off the jobs, this will not only protect American taxpayers and workers — but will pressure the corrupt Mexican govt and elite to finally reform and provide opportunities for THEIR citizens.

  21. Delaware Bob

    Reply to Nina:

    NO ILLEGAL ALIEN has a RIGHT to be in this Country for any reason! We have laws and we DO NOT need reform. Let these ILLEGAL ALIENS go back to their own country and demonstrate on their own soil for reform in their country.

    I stand by my comment.

  22. Janice Kushner

    Let’s see —

    Harry Reid wants to legalize tens of millions of moochers in our society when tens of millions of AMERICANS are out of work and we are in the midst of a depression — soon to be followed by inflation.

    Gee Harry…nice to know that the Government is watching out for the tax-paying citizens!


  23. Pingback: Reid says He has the votes for CIR (Amnesty) - Illegal Immigration - Page 2 - City-Data Forum

  24. Anya

    I can’t believe how many negative comments i have red here. It makes me so sad knowing people are so close minded. All I here is: we are Americans, the taxpayers, the good people who are against the bad “uneducated criminals”. Its so sad that one human being can put an other less fortunate one down. Immigrants don’t came here to become criminals they don’t come here to do nothing and get money from government, they don’t come here to make any “americans” angry. People from all over the world have that idea of America as a wonderful country where life becomes open with opportunities for them and their kids, they see America as their better future. People become so greedy. What happened with helping each other? Being happy with others happiness? Do Americans don’t believe that everybody deserve happiness?

  25. Junior

    To those of you saying all the negative assumptions about the “boarder jumpers”, research your information before you make ignorant coments. I am an 18 year old illegal immigrant, my parents brought me here when i was 8( a child) i have had al of my education here, im am by all means an american, i say my pledge of allegiance i believe in the rights of the american people, the only problem is the choice made for me to come here and stay. I did take a plane here, i didnt jump the border. So now that i graduated top of my 907 senior class and am ready to be a working american, what happens to me? should i just be sent back to my country because i wasnt born here? Shouldnt I be given a chance to suceed? I know i can help in someway unlike some of my acquaintances that are american and have decide to give up working and instead decided to live on welfare for the rest of their lives. Interesting huh?

  26. Senior

    Hey guys,

    Don’t get upset by hearing the words of all the ignorant people on this page. God does not leave the side of those who truly need his assistance. Immigration reform will pass because America has always showed it’s true and amazing colors of humanity when time and circumstance has warranted it. When the majority of “Americans” were for racial segregation in the mid 1900’s, all it took was the great words of MLK to change the entire demeanor of this nation with regards to segregation and inequality. Similarly now, it’s Barack Obama’s turn. He will make this country proud =) I’m sure of it. Just don’t waste your time even reading the comments of the ignorant and self-centered people on this page. Just read the good ones.

  27. nora

    We are a “Christian Country” and the Lord says in his word to treat well all the extrangers in other word migrants. To the person that said that we have an invasion from mexico, well what goes around comes around, white americans took the land from the mexicans. Beside they come here to do the job nobody wants. I work with Hispanics and they are hard working people, they pay taxes and they can’t get wellfare or insurance (medicaid/medicare) because they are indocumented. the ones that are born here they get some benefits like WIC. Please why don’t you talk about the russians, orientals, canadians; they are have illegal people too.

    And another thing, the terrorist came thrue Canada.

    Stop the hate, remember your parents, great grand parents were migrants and they suffer also. Be fare latinos are good people, why don’t you have compassion and look at the good things hispanics are bringing here. God bles America, land of the free, and equal opportunity

  28. American child

    We the American people do Love Mexicans, we love the ones that respect her laws and come in legally. We want just citizens, not theives. We ARE the christian nation, and in God we TRUST but even the Father has laws that are enforced. If the Mexicans are good people then they should voluntarily go back to their country and help their people Fight their revolution. They should prove that they are worthy of America by establishing peace in their own country. Why in 2009 do these people still kill each other, where is their love, where is their courage? If a Mexican wants to prove something they should prove it first in their own government because all We the American people see is destruction amonge them. Why would we want that destruction here? I say Mexicans love each other first find peace within yourselves and We the Americans will embrace you the better!

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