U.S. Senate leader pushes immigration reform bid

June 23, 2009

Even with enormously difficult to pass legislation on healthcare and climate change topping the Obama administration’s agenda, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid believes he can still muscle through a bill to overhaul U.S. immigration policies later this year.

OBAMA/President Barack Obama has said he wanted immigration reform done this year, although his own spokesman acknowledged on Monday that they may only be able to begin the debate on the issue.  “I can see the president’s desire for it to happen, but understanding that … currently where we sit, the math makes that more difficult than the discussion,” said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.

But that hasn’t stopped Reid, who caught a lot of people off guard a few weeks ago when he predicted the Senate would act this year.

“I’ve said right here that we have to finish healthcare.  We have to do energy before we get to immigration reform.  But being third on the list is pretty good,” Reid told reporters on Tuesday. He denied that rising unemployment, expected to top 10 percent amid a deep recession, would slow reform efforts.

“What is impacting doing comprehensive immigration reform is getting floor time to do it.  I think the votes are there to do it,” he said.

On Thursday, Obama will host a closed-door meeting with key lawmakers to discuss the issue and Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, plans on Wednesday to outline his principles for legislation he will offer.

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– Photo credit: Reuters/Henry Romero (protesters outside the U.S. embassy in Mexico)


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This reform will be a hard task with very few winners, the economy in a lot of Us states is addicted to and runs on cheap imported labour. Cutting off the supply, if at all possible, will have a disastrous impact on their economies.

Posted by Nikkei 225 | Report as abusive

CHANGE your mind
Reform is not sharing milk with those people
It is saving milk for everybody

Posted by 01talk | Report as abusive

the trade unions are against any immigration reform,and as we have seen in the recent dealings between them and the obama government they have been given far more consideration then any of the other parties.the reason the unions are keeping quiet now is because they know this is only hype to fool the latinos,the bill will be left hanging there till after the next elections,but in the meantime giving the impression that everyone in that community will get work permits and free health care,from the democrats.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

A comprehensive immigration reform is gonna boost our economy and it will also put us way ahead than the economies of other countries. US government has the rights to get the taxes outta these illegal immigrants and fines if required.

Posted by 02talk | Report as abusive

02talk,people would not swallow this when unemployment was 4.5%in CA it now 10%and climbing and most of the illegals worked in the construction industry which has suffered the biggest amount of losses.also these people because of low wages will not pay taxes so stop the democratic spin.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Anyone who thinks the majority of illegal immigrants pay taxes does not get out of Washington very much. Every immigrant is schooled on how to fill out the application.
All show 8 to 9 dependents, (even though they look 18 yrs of age), therefore they pay no taxes, never intend to file anyway, and send all the money to another country each week. Anyone that votes against E-verify enforcement is voting against all Americans. We have a major problem on our hands with illegal immigration.

Posted by Bill | Report as abusive

hi bill,in CA it is all a mockery,i worked for a company and about 40% of the workers were illegal.at the end of the year social security used to give them a special social security number to enable them to get their payroll taxes back.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

I agree with 02talk – this will definitely boost the economics. It’s good for us and some people must stop being so racial.

Posted by Steven Pears | Report as abusive