Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Flip-Flopping Harry Reid

Democratic Sen. Harry Reid can't seem to make up his mind about his immigration policy. Back in 1993 he was in solid support of strict illegal immigration laws, but now he says he's changed his mind in order to fall in line with the Democratic Party's position.

He said he changed his mind way back in 1993, but it turns out Sen. Reid was arguing for strict immigration laws for some time after his claimed "conversion":

A few days after introducing the bill in August 1993, Mr. Reid said in a near whisper as many senators looked on in amazement, his wife -- the daughter of immigrants -- confronted him after a meeting in Las Vegas and scolded him about his anti-immigrant views. She and other associates of his "pointed out the errors of my way" and ever since, Mr. Reid said, he's favored a more inclusive approach to immigration reform.

His errant ways, he said, "for which I'm so apologetic to my family, mostly lasted about a week or two."

But seven months later, Mr. Reid introduced his bill again, according to Senate records. That bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee in March 1994.

Later that summer, he testified before the Judiciary Committee and advocated cutting legal immigration from 1 million people annually to 325,000.

"A gluttonous admission of new people every year will have a pernicious effect on our infrastructure and our environment," Mr. Reid said, according to Associated Press reports at the time.

"We cannot continue to feed, clothe, house, educate and employ unlimited new populations," States News Service quoted him saying.


Sen. Reid's office claimed last night that he switched his position after he introduced his immigration legislation for the second time in 1994, but that he couldn't remember how long after that he changed sides.

Seems a little fishy to me. John Hinderaker at Power Line concludes:

They can't give an exact time line, I suspect, until they've done a Nexis search and figured out when Reid last gave an anti-illegal immigration speech that was reported in the press.