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Senators Reid and Durbin Pledge Action on Immigration This Year at Nationwide Rallies

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In case you missed the major rallies for immigration reform over the weekend, check out the New York Times’ “From Senate Majority Leader, a Promise to Take Up Immigration Overhaul:”

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, told an exuberant crowd at an immigration rally Saturday in Las Vegas that Congress would start work on an immigration overhaul as soon as lawmakers return this week from a recess.

“We’re going to come back, we’re going to have comprehensive immigration reform now,” he said in a speech to more than 6,000 people, mostly immigrants, gathered downtown.

“We need to do this this year,” Mr. Reid said, drawing cheers from the crowd, which included many Latinos. “We cannot wait.”

Organizers of the Las Vegas rally, including the Reform Immigration For America coalition, estimated 10,000 people attended Saturday’s rally, cheering Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for his commitment to passing much-needed immigration reform this year. 

At a rally in Chicago, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) pledged to move on immigration reform and to recruit Senate Republicans to support reform legislation. He compared this effort to the dedication that helped pass healthcare legislation and called for:

“…that same determination and that same commitment to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.”

The tens of thousands of people who gathered at rallies across the country on Saturday came after 200,000 people descended on Washington, D.C., for the March 21st “March for America,” the latest major call for concrete action on an immigration. The pledges of support also come at a time when Latino voter enthusiasm about the November mid-term elections is looking dismal and concerns over a slipping timeline for reform have grown louder.

Ezra Klein writes, in The Political Case for Immigration Reform:

The cynical take, of course, is that Reid is running for reelection in a state that’s about 20 percent Hispanic. But that suggests an important change in the political reality: The cynical thing for Democrats to do in an election year might be to pursue immigration reform. And that would make immigration reform a much likelier addition to the agenda.