September 14th, 2010
05:55 PM ET
13 years ago

Reid adds controversial immigration measure to defense bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Harry Reid said he will add the DREAM Act to a defese policy bill next week."]

Washington (CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will add the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.

The decision means the defense bill, which often passes with bipartisan support, will be home to two major, thorny political issues – the other being the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

Reid called the DREAM Act "really important" and said it should be passed because it provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.

"I know we can't do comprehensive immigration reform," Reid said at a news conference. "But those Republicans we had in the last Congress have left us."

Many Hispanic voters are angry with Democratic leaders for not doing more to pass an immigration overhaul. The decision by Reid to add the DREAM Act now could help soothe that anger.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called Reid's decision "needlessly controversial."
The Senate will need 60 votes to take up the bill next week, and Reid said Tuesday he doesn't know if he has enough votes.

Filed under: Harry Reid • Immigration • issues
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. panthersofamerica

    Instead of giving them relief, the government should be kicking illegals out of the country. If my grandparents could manage to come into the country legally, then these guys should be able to as well.

    September 14, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Muston & Jack

    There are many kids who were brought here illegally when they were very young and didn't choose to come or break any laws. All they know is America, have been living an american life, go to school, etc. Then they discover their education can't continue because of their immigration status. You can't simply ignore them or kick them out. There are a lot of good, talented students who would benefit the economy and the Country if they are given the chance to continue studying, rather than leaving them flipping burgers and doing low paid jobs. If we encourage all those kids to continue studying by providing them with a path to be legal residents or Citizens, we could get thousands of scientists, engineers and mathematicians that our Country lacks so bad. This goes beyond the political reasons, they're not terrorists nor threats to our Country, but honest talented guys who can help America be more prosperous.

    September 14, 2010 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  3. Danny Ross

    Geez. Is this guy politically suicidal, or what? Not satisfied with Obamacare and all the other destructive legislation the Democrats have passed, he goes for amnesty too? Maybe he's just5 tired of being in the Senate and wants out.. Sort of like those guys who get a cop to kill them because they cannot pull the trigger themselves.

    September 14, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. sad american

    This is sad. If Reid wins re-election, I'll boycott Nevada.

    September 14, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Hostile Knowledge

    The fact that amnesty of any stripe is massively unpopular doesn't seem to faze Democrats like Reid. One is left to conclude that masochism is an intricate part of the progressive mindset.

    September 14, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  6. broccoliobama

    Harry Reid is such a nice man. He only cares for the gays and illegals and should be given every consideration for his thoughts.

    September 14, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  7. elvis

    if there was any uncertainty before, this seals the deal...his unemployment begins in november.

    buh-bye harry.

    September 14, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  8. John

    its is time to kick this insanity to the curb.....

    September 14, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  9. crazyvic50

    Democrats have been very slow to act in immigration reforms. So now, Reid wants to have the dream act approved as a 'conciliatory'move to get some portions of immigrants happy for that addition. One thing is true, that is not enough. I believe that a lot of votes of immigrants that are democrats will be given to Republicans if they were 'smart enough' to fight for immigrants rights. Unfortunatelly, boths parties are not interested in those 'votes' apparently and many immigrant will restrain to vote to show to both parties that your 'political platform' should include those reforms.

    September 14, 2010 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. Larry

    Mr. Reid has other motives for doing this. He wants to create more of a wedge between hispanics and conservatives, so they will support Democrats in the general election. He also wants to be able to say that Republicans don't want to support our military by tying his gay agenda to the bill, hence he wants support of gay rights groups. Can anyone in Washington do what's right for America? Military funding bills should be just that, funding for our military only!

    September 14, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  11. Mhu Cao

    What a cynical toad Reid is. I hope nhe becomes one of the unemployed shortly. Maybe he can go to Cuba and raise rabbits or make bricks.

    September 14, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. Adam

    How about representing Americans first; the majority are against amnesty for illegals. This is obviously an act of a desperate politician who will likely lose his next election.

    Newsflash Harry illegals cant vote, Americans don't want amnesty. You just put the last nail in your coffin.

    September 14, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  13. john

    dingy harry!!!! YOU SLIME!!!

    September 14, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  14. Shepdawg

    He had better not get the votes!

    September 14, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  15. darrell7887

    Buying pathetic!!!! Liberals are so corrupt!

    September 14, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  16. Patricia de

    Leave it to Reid..

    One last Slap to Americans on his way out the door..

    September 14, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  17. 12wlw12

    Maybe the Hispanics should wonder why Reid (democrats) waited until election time to do this. Too bad the hispanics can't see that their votes, like the Black's votes, mean nothing more to the democrats than the number of votes they can get. These races are the democrats darlings... until AFTER the elections! Maybe they should google 'which party is the most racist'

    September 14, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  18. Isai Galvez

    Man! The dream is finally coming!!! So many undocumentes students who have been waiting for yearsssss for this to pass. Only a fool would be against this! These students have graduated high school and college or served in our armed forces! They have been nothing but a benefit to our society and deserve legalization! Its about time! DREAM ACT!

    September 14, 2010 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  19. Just another mike

    The Dream Act is a fine idea as long as it's modified to help all children of federal felon's.

    September 14, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  20. andy levinson

    Serial politician Harry Reid should be doing a life sentence for all his criminal legislation....lock the punk politician up

    September 14, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  21. devildog_jim

    Holding a major Defense bill hostage to push through two controversial measures which should stand on their own? And here I thought Pelosi, Reid, and Co. were going to "drain the swamp." Looks more like business as usual to me. Harry Reid is on top of that swamp called the Senate, and we all know what floats to the top...

    September 14, 2010 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  22. Juju

    Harry Reid is pnd scum, he needs to be drained from the swamp.

    September 14, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  23. jim

    This is the most despicable and craven political move I have ever seen.

    September 14, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  24. Steve

    He will do anything to get elected. He is a terrible self serving Senator.

    September 14, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  25. Steve

    DEFEAT IT!! And when the military shuts down operations in Afganistan and Iraq, we can ask the Dems why they play Politics with our National Secruity. Reid OUT in November!! THis is his last Hurrah!!

    September 14, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
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