Sen. Harry Reid speaks out on immigration reform

Hispanics in Politics sponsored an event July 2 that featured a brief series of comments and a question and answer session with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. The event took place in downtown Las Vegas. Reid spoke on a number of issues pertaining to immigration, perhaps most notably his beliefs on any capacity for immigration reform to be passed through Congress before the year’s end. Despite his support for comprehensive immigration reform, Reid seemed very aware of the low potential for any sort of reform to pass through the Senate this year.

“It’s gone until next year,” Reid told NewsMax. “Maybe we’ll get something in the lame-duck session.”

Nonetheless, Reid did discuss the various ways in which the fight for immigration reform can continue to be pushed forward, indicating that President Barack Obama had been in touch with him last week before officially announcing that he would use his executive authority to attempt to institute reform measures. This announcement came from Obama after the comprehensive immigration reform bill that was approved by the Senate nearly a year ago had been continually stalled in the House of Representatives. Speaking of the stalled bill, Reid indicated his disapproval for House Speaker John Boehner’s refusal to hold a vote on the issue. Reid also said that Rep. Joe Heck, a Republican who supports reform, did not put enough pressure on Boehner to influence having a vote. He did make clear that some good might come from the Republican’s stubbornness in the form of missed votes come election season. Democrats will undoubtedly await seeing if his prediction manifests itself.

In closing his speech, Reid was sure to reinforce the value of immigrants to America, speaking specifically of the fiscal benefits of passing reform. He claimed that giving paths to citizenship to the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already in America could push roughly $1 trillion into the struggling U.S. economy.