Reid: ‘I will do everything’ to get immigration reform done

The Senate Judiciary Committee will begin to mark up The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act next week.

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The bipartisan group of eight senators, known as the Gang of Eight, introduced S. 744, which would create a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country, toughen border security, create a guest worker program and boost high-skilled immigration.

Reid has said he wants to get the bill to the Senate floor for a vote by June. He spoke Wednesday to the March for Citizenship in Las Vegas, where he told the story of Blanca Gamez, an immigrant whose parents illegally brought her to the United States — also known as a DREAMer — when she was just seven months old.

“Washington owes Blanca permanent solutions — solutions that are tough but fair,” Reid said. “Solutions that fix our broken legal immigration system. Solutions that punish unscrupulous employers who exploit immigrants and drag down wages for every worker in America. Solutions that pull 11 million people out of the shadows, help them get right with the law and learn English. Solutions that put them on the path to citizenship.”

Some Republicans have complained that the legislation is being rushed through and that it would provide amnesty for illegal residents before strengthening border enforcement.

The House is expected to take on immigration reform as well, but leaders on that side have said they will pass smaller reforms one-by-one rather than a comprehensive bill. Members of the Gang of Eight have suggested that the only way to pass any immigration reform is through a large-scale, comprehensive bill.

“We can’t do this piecemeal,” Reid said. “And we can’t do it without a pathway to earned citizenship.”

Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio apologized to Trump for 'small hands' crack Sunday shows preview: Bernie soldiers on Fla. Senate candidate bashes Rubio MORE (R-Fla.), John McCainJohn McCainTrump: Illegal immigrants treated better than veterans Trump should apologize to heroic POWs McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money MORE (R-Ariz.), Lindsey GrahamLindsey GrahamSenators to Obama: Make 'timely' call on Afghan troops levels Senate amendments could sink email privacy compromise Trump: Romney 'walks like a penguin' MORE (R-S.C.), Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeDem senators call for sanctions on Congo McCain urges sports leagues to return 'paid patriotism' money Overnight Tech: House GOP launches probe into phone, internet subsidies MORE (R-Ariz.), Charles SchumerCharles SchumerSchumer touts policy victories over Obama administration Puerto Rico debt relief faces serious challenges in Senate Overnight Healthcare: House, Senate on collision course over Zika funding MORE (D-N.Y.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems to Clinton: Ignore Trump on past scandals How airport security lines got so bad Dem senators call for sanctions on Congo MORE (D-Ill.), Bob MenendezRobert MenendezDems pressure Obama on vow to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees Lobbying World This week: GOP lawmakers reckon with Trump MORE (D-N.J.) and Michael BennetMichael BennetGOP Senate hopeful wants to go beyond Trump's Muslim ban Lawmakers push to elevate Cyber Command in Senate defense bill GOP ad calls Clinton 'a living history of scandal' MORE (D-Co.) comprise the Gang of Eight.

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