September 14th, 2010
05:55 PM ET
12 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. Brian in MD

    The scarecrow speaks. Reid, please move to Mexico.

    September 14, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  2. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Another slimeball Democrat liberal move. Corrupt and then whine about how the Republicans are against defense because they are racist. That is why we are getting rid of the Democrat liberals in the political world startin in November. Just more corrupt politics from Reid.

    September 14, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  3. S Callahan

    That is pure are using a piece of legislation needed for our soliders to put throught a piece(s) of legislation you hope to give you votes in November. That is slimy and downright wrong.

    September 14, 2010 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    I guess we knew i all along: What the Democrats are trying to do is buy more Democrats.

    September 14, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. gt

    come on harry no more dirty tricks... that s how we got in this mess,,,

    September 14, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  6. the real ib

    anything for the demos to get those illegals voting for them right Reid? You need all the help you can get don't you??

    September 14, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. tony

    I'm not fond of adding bills like this. bills should each stand on their own merit. however, it's what our constitution says.

    September 14, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  8. Sam Dechter

    Better if Harry Reid had "left us." His leadership (?) leaves something to desire and his politics stink.

    September 14, 2010 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Luis Teixiera

    Bravo for the democrats....finally we saw some that can be good for all this students and people that are regularizing his status here in usa.....

    September 14, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  10. MAC

    What does the Dream Act have to do with national defense? Nothing! Unless they all have to join the military. It is a pork addition to the one appropriations bill required by the Constitution to get it passed since it will not pass muster on its own.

    September 14, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Raid grasping at straws

    Harry Reid must think that his constituents are all stupid and just fell off a turnip truck/ This is a political stund – Ole Harry is getting desparate.

    If Nevada reelects Harry, then they nobody to blame byt themselves for the continiong unemployment in Las Vegas, Reno, and elsewhere in NV that will surely continue and perhaps get worse

    September 14, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  12. Linda

    Mr. Reid we hope and pray that you will be replaced before you do anymore harm.

    September 14, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. Nick O'Boailll

    We need immigration reform NOW!

    September 14, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  14. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Yes that is what the Romans did. Let the illegals EARN their citizenship by serving at least 10 years in the military. We should not just let all the illegals apply for amnesty. The should prove their loyalty to THIS nation and learn English.

    September 14, 2010 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Al

    I don't see how this is controversial. The DREAM Act is narrowly-tailored to provide relief to a small group of individuals who were brought to the U.S. without a choice at a young age. It does not reward lawlessness because there are checks on the granting of conditional residency.

    It is also germane to the defense bill. One part of the DREAM Act would be to grant conditional status based on military service. We are still at war. We need individuals who are ready to answer the call.

    September 14, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    You CANT serve in the military if you're an illegal alien.

    September 14, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Allie Foster

    Harry Reid needs to understand what is going on with this country. Why can't they introduce a "straight and clear" bill? Shame on him, shame on the Dems!!!!

    He does not deserve re-election. The man is totally out of touch with America.

    September 14, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  18. student1776

    What a slimy move. Exactly what you expect from Reid. Vote it down pronto.

    September 14, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  19. AnneP

    What a creep!

    September 14, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  20. Eric

    Hmmm.... Trying to whip up some votes Harry? How low will you go? How low will you go?

    September 14, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  21. thegratefuldad

    I'm so ANGRY that I can't type anything coherent at this time.

    die Reid die

    September 14, 2010 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  22. ENNIS

    Won't get the votes– what a scumbag

    September 14, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  23. Mike Longo

    The enemies of America are right out in the open

    The problem is most are o blind, they can't see them

    September 14, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Vashra

    The headline should read "Harry Reid holds American soldiers' safety hostage with add-on bill that has NOTHING to do with defense"

    September 14, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. Richard

    What part of ILLEGAL is Senator Reid having a hard time grasping.
    The military will discipline an active duty member if it becomes appearant after their enlistment that they have a criminal history and didn't disclose it. Will the same be done for people who's very presence in the USA is in violation of our laws?
    I think not.

    September 14, 2010 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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