That Time Harry Reid Sounded Exactly Like Donald Trump on Illegal Immigration

Reid was right. There. We said it.

It was 1993. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) stood before the Senate in September to bolster his Immigration Stabilization Act just seven months after two CIA agents were killed at Langley headquarters by Pakistani illegal aliens and six months after the first World Trade Center bombing perpetrated by a group of Islamic terrorists that included illegals. Reid was on a mission to put an end to the immigration problem that was plaguing the United States. Some may say, after hearing his words, that he sounded exactly like Donald Trump does today. 

It has been Trump’s strong stance on fixing a completely shattered immigration system that has garnered him the most criticism. Illegal aliens pour into this country every day, mostly from Mexico, and with that bring financial burdens to American cities, not to mention crime and other maladies. The United States can’t support such a system for much longer.

At one time, Harry Reid believed that, too. As he spoke from the Senate floor 23 years ago, Reid made his case before President Bill Clinton to end the “insane” birthright citizenship, clamp down on asylum seekers, like those who bombed the WTC, and finally, the deportation of criminal aliens. 

Below are several quotes from this speech and press releases related to the bill. His words are virtually indistinguishable from Donald Trump's:

  • “Our federal wallet is stretched to the limit by illegal aliens getting welfare, food stamps, medical care and other benefits often without paying any taxes. Safeguards like welfare and free medical care are in place to boost Americans in need of short-term assistance. These programs were not meant to entice freeloaders and scam artists from around the world.”
  • “We admit the equivalent of a major city without any assessment of whether these newcomers are likely to be contributing members of our society. Only a tiny fraction of those admitted each year enter because they have skills and abilities that will benefit our country. The rest come merely because they happen to be relatives of other recent immigrants. The result of this so-called policy is that there is now a backlog of almost 3 1/2 million people--the population of a city the size of Los Angeles--who have a claim to immigrate to the United States for no other reason than they are somebody's relative. Is this really a way to run immigration policy?”
  • “The illegal alien population is growing by more than a quarter of a million people a year, we think, with the best statistics we have. Yet we are doing almost nothing to encourage these people to go home or even to deter them from coming here in the first place. In many parts of the country we actually make it easy to be an illegal alien.”
  • “If making it easy to be an illegal alien is not enough, how about offering a reward for being an illegal immigrant? No sane country would do that, right? Guess again. If you break our laws by entering this country without permission and give birth to a child, we reward that child with U.S. citizenship and guarantee full access to all public and social services this society provides. And that is a lot of services. Is it any wonder that two-thirds of the babies born at taxpayer expense in county-run hospitals in Los Angeles are born to illegal alien mothers?”
  • “I wish the statements I have been making were some kind of a nightmare or dream, an aberration. But they are true. But they do not stop. Not only do we admit more than these 100,000 people each year without knowing who they are or why they came, we actually give them all the documents they need to simply disappear into our society.”
  • “It is fair to say that this country does not have a policy but, rather, an inchoate and often incomprehensible hodgepodge of statutes, regulations and procedures. In other words, what we have is a mess that is only likely to get worse unless we demonstrate some courage legislatively.”
  • “The most important question we need to ask is whether our children and grandchildren will be better off as a result of this staggering increase in population. Will our children and grandchildren enjoy the same quality of life as we have had? Will they have the same opportunities, the same freedom of movement and mobility? Can the melting pot absorb and absorb and assimilate and assimilate people arriving at this rate? Or will we become increasingly isolated and alienated from one another?”

If this were turned into a game of “Who said it: Donald Trump or Harry Reid?” most would choose Trump every time.

And what’s worse, in 1993, the number of illegal aliens Reid was complaining about were a fraction of the illegal alien population today. But when Trump warns of the dangers of illegal immigration, the Democrats of today punch back that our country was founded as a nation of immigrants. Reid had an answer for that back then, too:

“Proponents of the status quo argue that any attempt to reform our Nation's immigration policies is an affront to our immigration tradition. It is an argument I hear over and over each time we attempt to have meaningful debate about U.S. immigration policy.

“From 1820 until 1965, a period encompassing most of the history of this Nation, the United States admitted an average of 300,000 immigrants a year… we are now resettling between 1.2 million and 1.5 million newcomers every year--about the size of the State of Nevada, every year. There is nothing traditional or rational, for that matter, about attempting to absorb the population of Nevada every year, year in and year out.”

Reid’s words were correct for that time and still stand true today. That’s not something you’ll read very often on TruthRevolt, but Reid was right on this one!

So, what’s changed? The only conclusion is that the Democrats saw how many new voters were coming into the country who could be spellbound by all of this free stuff and keep them in office forever. And what a great tradeoff it is: millions of Democratic voters in exchange for rape, murder, drunk driving accidents, and a heavy financial burden on the rest of us legal citizens. 

The above video is a small portion of Reid's floor speech. The full transcript is here.

(This article was inspired by an excellent piece by Daniel Horowitz at Conservative Review.)