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Harry Reid: "I Will Do Everything in My Power as Majority Leader" To Pass Immigration Reform

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Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appeared at an immigration reform rally in Las Vegas. He has for years been an outspoken advocate for immigration reform — and made that clear again yesterday:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., promised Wednesday to use the power of his office to get immigration overhaul legislation through Congress.

“I pledge that I will do everything in my power as Majority Leader to get a bill across the finish line,” Reid said at a pro-overhaul March for Citizenship event in Las Vegas.

In his first immigration speech since a bipartisan group of senators released an overhaul proposal, Reid appeared with faith leaders as well as state and national union officials to promote passage of a comprehensive rewrite. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees president Lee Saunders also took part.

“We can’t do this piecemeal,” Reid said. “And we can’t do it without a pathway to earned citizenship.”

“Nothing short of success is acceptable to me,” Reid stressed.

Reid is a great ally to have. He’s committed, in a powerful position, and understands first-hand the politics of reform. In 2010, Reid leaned into the immigration issue, focusing on the DREAM Act. As a result, Latino turnout helped Reid defeat the fiercely anti-immigrant Sharron Angle (one of Jim DeMint’s chosen candidates) in November of 2010.  Reid’s reelection that year was a key example of what can happen for politicians who lean into the immigration issue–and what happens to ultra-conservatives who continue to demagogue with it.