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. Boyd

    What's funny is that conservatives and Republicans have often called the porous border as a matter of national defense. Now that Reid has added it to a defense bill, they'll probably turn around and argue that defense and immigration have nothing to do with each other.

    We'll see how this turns out, but props to Reid for the ballsy move.

    September 14, 2010 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. spike in conshohocken pa

    Interesting way to try to trick the American people by gaming defense spending, Reid.

    September 14, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  3. Paul

    Congressional Hemorrhoidectomy in 52 days...

    September 14, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Help

    Hey guys, will you visit SaveStan.ORG a friend of mine with 4 young babies is fighting for his life…… thanks.

    September 14, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  5. Ma

    This man is making trouble by bring into the defense bill something that will cause delays and disunity. Heis doing this against common sense and for political opportunity that he thinks will bolster his failing ability to keep his job. This man is a coward and a liar and is only looking out for his own behalf. Hopefully the voters will see thru his BS and send his arse packing!

    September 14, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  6. McT

    To the citizens of Nevada:

    Please free the Republic from this man!

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

    Note to Congress: Please stop adding controversial non-defense-related items to defense bills, and thereby punishing our troops solely for your own personal political gain!!!

    September 14, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. Charles W. Skinner

    This will FAIL. The Republicans WILL fillibuster it if it contains a repeal of DADT and the DREAM legislation. It won't even be taken up. ANY Republican who votes even to take up this legislation WILL be voted out of office come November. They can immediately kiss their job goodbye.

    September 14, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. Mike

    This man would say are do anything to get elected again again again and again. He could care less about The Dream Act. He is just full of it.He needs to find a job. What a joke that is not funny.

    September 14, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  10. cpotter777

    What is it about Washington, that when you get sent there by your state, you instantly turn stupid. What do they not understand about closing the border. Most people I have spoken to don't mind a path to citizenship; but I cant think of anyone that doesn't want the border closed first above anything else.

    September 14, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  11. Way Smart

    Harry Reid is a penis sucker of the first order....

    September 14, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. Capt. Smash

    Good Job Harry!

    September 14, 2010 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  13. Toolbag Reid

    Your history November 2, Dork.

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

    Reid is taking a big chance with the November election around the corner. Republicans and the Tea Partys are already energized. The Omibus bill with the Dream Act attached is the type of legislation making voters are angry about. Democrats, if they are wise, will vote it down.

    September 14, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  15. TheCynic

    Yes, Harry. It's totally the fault of the Republicans. The fact that you keep proposing unpalatable programs has nothing to do with it, does it?

    September 14, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Tom

    If the bill was so important, why won't it stand on it's own?

    September 14, 2010 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    Reid is such a sneaky weasel... I sure hope that he loses his re-election and crawls back to wherever he came from...

    Hey Reid!

    You have done nothing to protect American citizens from a MEXICAN INVASION!!!

    It's time for you to face the nation and step down... with dignity...

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

    Our DREAM ACT would be for all illegal aliens to respect our laws and leave our country.

    September 14, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  19. Matthew

    Can't we just vote on one thing at a time. All this posturing and leveraging is not about what is best for America. Enough with the sub bill and sub sub bill. Vote should be clear Yes or No on the military. Then there should be a complete and separate vote on this Dream Act and a third vote on Don't ask dont tell. These amendments only muddy voting records so no one has a clue who anyone really is and what they stand for. This is why everyone needs to go.

    September 14, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  20. J. R. Black

    These guys are slick... What is wrong with the immigration laws that exist? The problem is not with the laws, its the spineless lack of enforcing them!

    When you tie an elected official to the enforcement of the law, you always end up with bribery and corruption somewhere down the line!


    September 14, 2010 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  21. ew-3

    Anything for a few votes so you can stay in power Harry?

    You are disgusting.

    September 14, 2010 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  22. Travis

    Why do we continue to allow items into bills that has no relation. Slipping stuff in is what has runined this country.

    September 14, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  23. nceeno

    This is an easy bill to vote down. Nothing in it but crap.

    September 14, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  24. Loubo

    This jerk will do anything to get himself reelected including "buying" the hispanic vote. Hey Harry get a clue. This is NOT what legal American citizen majorities want. Retire.

    September 14, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  25. FlyGuy

    Reid is a Facist and will be stopped.

    September 14, 2010 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
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