Former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), who died at the age of 82 on Tuesday, once railed against the United States’ birthright citizenship policy as well as high levels of legal immigration — gems of the Democrat Party’s immigration platform today.

During a speech on the Senate floor in 1993, Reid assailed the nation’s immigration policy.

Three years before, then-President George H.W. Bush had signed into law the Immigration Act of 1990 that increased legal immigration levels and created work visa programs that allow businesses to readily import cheaper, foreign workers rather than hiring Americans.

Specifically, Reid blasted the policy of birthright citizenship that rewards anyone born within the perimeters of the U.S. interior with automatic American citizenship regardless of whether their parents are illegal aliens or have any legitimate ties to the U.S.

Today, there are an estimated nearly five million “anchor babies,” the term often used to describe the children of illegal aliens who are rewarded with birthright citizenship, costing taxpayers nearly $3 billion annually. The anchor baby population now exceeds the annual number of American births.

“If making it easy to be an illegal alien isn’t enough, how about offering a reward for being an illegal immigrant,” Reid said. “No sane country would that, right? Think 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 — a guarantee of full access to public and social services that this society provides.”

“Is it any wonder that babies born at taxpayer expense at county-run hospitals in Los Angeles are born to illegal alien mothers,” Reid continued.

Similarly, Reid slammed the high levels of legal immigration wherein more than a million green cards are given to foreign nationals every year as another million work visas are given to foreign nationals annually.

“Immigration policy and national interest are terms that are rarely heard in the context of immigration. We seem to have lost sight of the fact that it is a public policy and like all public policies, our immigration policies should serve the public interest — but they don’t when it comes to legal immigration,” Reid said:

We now admit the equivalent of a major city each year without having the vaguest idea of how we will educate all the new children, care for the sick, provide housing and jobs, build infrastructure, and attend any of the needs of newcomers for those already here. [Emphasis added]

Each year, we admit more people each year than what makes up some of our states. We admit a new state with legal immigrants every year … we have no idea who or how these huge costs will be borne. [Emphasis added]


During 1992, our government granted more work authorizations to foreign workers than the net number of new jobs created by our economy … can anyone fathom the logic behind this policy? [Emphasis added]

Before changing his tune on immigration in the national interest in the latter half of his political career, Reid opposed in the House then-President Ronald Reagan’s amnesty for illegal aliens.

“In 1986, we granted amnesty, and I voted against that provision in the law … to 3.2 million illegal immigrants,” Reid said. “After being in this country for ten years, the average amnesty recipient had a sixth-grade education, earned less than $6 an hour, and personally qualified for the income earned tax credit.”

Fran Martinez, front, and other protesters gather outside San Bernardino County Superior Court as a judge hears a motion for a preliminary injunction against a Chino Hills maternity hotel. The alleged hotel, which housed women from China who traveled here to give birth to U.S. citizen babies, already appears to have shut down. The protesters want to make sure it stays that way. They are also seeking changes to U.S. immigration law, which currently permits so called birth tourism. (Photo by Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


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