Friday, December 31, 2021

Opinion: Harry Reid’s immigration legacy put politics over country


Long-time Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) passed away this week and is being memorialized in warm terms.  Ruben Navarette Jr. challenges some of Senator Reid's positions on immigration.  He notes that

"[I]n 1993, Reid introduced sinister legislation that would have countermanded the 14th Amendment and denied     birthright citizenship' to the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants. Using language typically heard from Republicans, he argued that     no sane country' would allow such a practice."

Navarette questions Senator Reid's commitment to immigration reform and criticizes his actions on reform as Senate majority leader.  I think that he is overly harsh on Reid, who shared the views of many Democrats on immigration that are contrary to the Democratic Party mainstream today.  Remember that Democratic President Bill Clinton signed into law extremely harsh 1996 immigration reforms -- reforms that continue to have harsh impacts on immigrants today.  As Dara Lind wrote for Vox, "in 1996 — fresh off the heels of signing welfare reform, and two years after signing the `crime bill' — President Bill Clinton signed a bill that overhauled immigration enforcement in the US and laid the groundwork for the massive deportation machine that exists today."


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