In his Opening Remarks as Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV) has announced that Senate Bill No. 9 (S.9) will be Comprehensive Immigration Reform. As HLG’s Blog readers know, last term’s Senate actually passed CIR.
Sen. Reid and the Democrats in the Senate have been strong supporters of CIR, as have the moderate Republicans. Sen. Reid’s remarks included these statements:
S. 9 will secure America by undertaking comprehensive immigration reform.
We passed a solid immigration bill in the Senate last year. Unfortunately, it fell victim to politics in the House of Representatives. Immigration reform is too vital to our security and our economy to fall by the wayside, so we must deal with it again in 2007.
America’s immigration system is broken. Our borders remain un-secured. Our laws remain under-enforced. And we have 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the shadows.
Our bill will take a comprehensive approach to repairing this broken system. With tough and smart reforms, it secure our borders, crack down on enforcement, and lay out a path to earned legalization for undocumented immigrants already living here.
Sen. Reid’s counterpart in the Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), expressed similar intensions in his Opening Remarks:
Immigration is one the most pressing issues of our day. We should be daring about immigration reform — and act on it soon. The voters demand it. We have a duty to deliver.
Americans are generous, eager to welcome strangers and happy when they prosper. Yet we know that the blessings of liberty depend on respect for the law and a common national culture. We can ensure both even as we welcome those who come here looking for a better life.
All of this bodes well for Schedule A retrogression relief. The House Democrats’ formal 100 hours agenda does not include CIR. HLG has learned that it may be included in this Congress’ early days. Let’s hope that the House Leaders understands the issue just as clearly as the Senator Leadership does.