Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) argues that despite the fact that President Obama’s executive amnesty will not have the force of law, it would be very difficult for another president to rescind.
“This is something that is fair and the right thing to do,” Reid said on Thursday. “They have the opportunity at some later time, some president to say, ‘I want this all changed.’ I wish that person luck to try to tell these millions of people and their families — who many at that time will have many, many more United States citizens — are going to be pretty hard to rescind what this first step is.”
Reid called the scope of the executive amnesty — expected to encompass some 5 million illegal immigrants — “pretty good.”
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Gang of Eight that pushed a comprehensive immigration bill through the Senate in 2013, called the president’s actions “a first step” and argued they are “the right move for America.”
Reid and Durbin spoke to reporters at a press conference also featuring Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to highlight the 511 days since the Senate passed an immigration bill and blamed House Republicans for failing to act.
“Republicans should channel their anger in a productive fashion to pass the bipartisan bill now,” Schumer said, touting the Senate immigration bill.
“Administrative action is a bandaid but it is better than nothing,” Murray added, “and nothing is what the House Republicans are offering.”
The senators stood beside a sign with the number 511 emblazoned on the front, in reference to the 511 days since the Senate passed its comprehensive immigration bill.
“For four years [Republicans have] stopped virtually everything. My only surprise is the president has waited as long as he has to do some of these things with executive action,” Reid said.
President Obama is slated to announce his executive actions Thursday night.