Mr. Reid, a Nevada Democrat who is in a desperate battle to keep his Senate seat, told Univision’s “Al Punto,” a Sunday political talk show, that he has the right as majority leader to decide what legislation reaches the floor, and said he is “a believer in needing to do something” on immigration.
In doing so, he elevated immigration to join jobs, spending and tax cuts — the issues most lawmakers expect to dominate Congress when they reconvene in November.
“I just need a handful of Republicans. I would settle for two or three Republicans to join with me on the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration reform, but they have not been willing to step forward,” Mr. Reid said. “They want to keep talking about this issue, and I say [it] is demagoguery in its worst fashion and is unfair to the Hispanic community.”
The Dream Act would grant legal status and a path to citizenship to illegal immigrant schoolchildren and to illegal immigrants who agree to serve in the U.S. military.
In September, just before Congress adjourned for two months, Mr. Reid tried to attach the Dream Act to the annual defense policy bill, which already was loaded down with language laying out a path for gays to serve openly in the military. But Republicans blocked the defense bill, arguing that Mr. Reid was playing politics just before the election.
The immigration issue has been dominant in the Nevada Senate race, which pits Mr. Reid against Republican nominee Sharron Angle, who has been running ads accusing Mr. Reid of being a friend of illegal immigrants.
Then, Mr. Reid last week had to fire a staffer after it was revealed she had entered into a sham marriage to help a man stay in the United States.
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