Harry Reid Throws In The Towel (UPDATED)

If this doesn’t kill Dingy Harry’s re-election bid, we’re not sure what will. He just appended the illegal-immigrant-amnesty DREAM Act to a defense appropriations bill:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday he will add the DREAM Act, a controversial immigration measure, to a defense policy bill the Senate will take up next week.

The decision means the defense bill, which often passes with bipartisan support, will be home to two major, thorny political issues – the other being the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

Reid called the DREAM Act “really important” and said it should be passed because it provides a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or serve in the military. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act.

“I know we can’t do comprehensive immigration reform,” Reid said at a news conference. “But those Republicans we had in the last Congress have left us.”

Many Hispanic voters are angry with Democratic leaders for not doing more to pass an immigration overhaul. The decision by Reid to add the DREAM Act now could help soothe that anger.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called Reid’s decision “needlessly controversial.”

The Senate will need 60 votes to take up the bill next week, and Reid said Tuesday he doesn’t know if he has enough votes.

Reid’s opening of the DREAM Act can of worms doesn’t seem to be very timely. The Las Vegas Review-Journal took time off from its attempts to persecute anyone guilty of excerpting its articles to commission a poll on the very subject of immigration among Nevadans – and based on the results, Reid has just slit his own throat. Among the findings:

  • By a 54 percent to 31 percent margin, Nevadans think illegals take jobs away from citizens rather than fill jobs Americans won’t do.
  • 89 percent want tougher sanctions on employers who hire illegals.
  • 46 percent say the state’s economy would be better if the illegals were removed from the work force, compared to 31 percent who say things would stay the same and only 13 percent who say things would be worse.
  • By a 57-29 margin, Nevadans would favor amending the constitution to eliminate “anchor babies.” Even more significant, among Hispanics it’s still a 45-40 margin in favor.

Rasmussen’s latest poll in the race between Reid and Republican contender Sharron Angle has the two in a 48-48 tie. When this DREAM Act thing hits, look for those numbers to turn Angle’s way with the election just six weeks away.

UPDATE: The Angle campaign wasted no time at all in capitalizing on Reid’s DREAM Act move, with a brand-new campaign ad…

Elizabeth Crum at National Review has more here.

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