Reid still has his heart set on amnesty this year

Passing immigration reform is “going to happen this session,” Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), referring to the 111th Congress. “But I want it this year if at all possible.”

At a press conference with Hispanic leaders touting the Supreme Court nomination of the Sonia Sotomayor, Reid said that he wants Congress to pass a bill with tougher border security measures, improved employer sanctions, a guest-worker program and a path for citizenship to the country’s illegal immigrants — a policy critics have called “amnesty.”

“We have to have a pathway for legalization,” Reid said. “I believe what we need to do is have penalties, fines, I think they have to learn English, stay out of trouble, pay their taxes, and then they don’t go to the end of the line, they go to the back of the line. But at least it keeps them so that they are not subject to arrest and that they are more productive than they are.”