Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Reid States Immigration as Top Priority

At a news conference on Thursday with Hispanic leaders to bolster support for Sonia Sotomayor’s Supreme Court candidacy, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said he wants to address comprehensive immigration reform, saying that a bill is “going to happen this session, but I want it this year, if at all possible.” Reid called it one of his three top priorities this year, along with health care and energy.

Brent Wilkes, the national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), was standing beside Reid and said he understands why Democrats are not committing to a firm timetable, “They’re cautious about the immigration bill, because things have a tendency to slip in Washington.”

Immigration reform looks unlikely to pass this year with the packed legislative calendar in Congress and the White House. Yet, Reid said he wants Congress to pass a bill with tougher border security measures, improved employer sanctions, a guest-worker program and a path for citizenship to the country’s illegal immigrants.

He said, “We have to have a pathway for legalization. I believe what we need to do is have penalties, fines, I think they have to learn English, stay out of trouble, pay their taxes, and then they don’t go to the end of the line, they go to the back of the line. But at least it keeps them so that they are not subject to arrest and that they are more productive than they are.”

The last time the Senate took up comprehensive immigration reform was in 2007, and senators overwhelmingly rejected comprehensive immigration.

The Hispanic community is largely behind a pathway to citizenship, Democrats may have the opportunity to further solidify their hold on the powerful voting bloc. Afterall, the Democrats hold a 12-7 on the Judiciary committee, an advantage since Sen. Arlen Specter became a Democrat and a 59-40 advantage in the Senate overall.


Washington Post


  1. […] previously reported in La Plaza, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pledged to make comprehensive immigration reform happen before […]