Harry Reid says there are enough Senate votes for immigration "reform"; offers deportation false choice
He added that although (comprehensive immigration reform) does not have the backing of all Democrats, the bill will overcome the obstacles that stymied the failed 2007 reform.
The majority leader said he has "no doubt" he could find as many as a dozen Republicans who support the measure to make up for defections in Democratic ranks.
"We can't deport 11 million undocumented people, we can't do it physically and financially, as some would want," Reid said. "Immigration is the strength of our country, we bring waves of people to our country who excel in education and the workforce, and that's good."
"We should bring them out of the shadows so that when someone goes to buy milk for their child they're not subject to arrest. Let's clean the slate, let's have a new immigration program that protects our northern and southern borders, a program that brings (these) people out of shadows and makes them more productive," the senator said.
He said people with criminal records would be excluded and that undocumented migrants benefiting from the initiative would have to pay fines, learn English and be up to date in their tax payments.
It's important to note that he might just be thinking "politically": he realizes how difficult amnesty would be, he just wants some Republicans to alienate their base at the same time as, after failing to get all the votes he needs, he's able to alienate the Republican Party from Hispanics who support amnesty.