posted at 1:36 pm on July 13, 2010 by Ed Morrissey
How many different ways can the immigration debate backfire on Democrats? Harry Reid may have invented a new way to shoot himself in the foot. When confronted by the CBS affiliate in Las Vegas over Reid’s block of a vote to require e-Verify for construction workers, Reid offered the standard platitude that immigration enforcement can’t be done “piecemeal” but has to wait for an overhaul of laws to replace the laws that the federal government doesn’t feel like enforcing. When pressed on the topic by the reporter, Reid insists that there are no illegal workers in Nevada (via the Boss Emeritus):
The report doesn’t offer the big quote from the interview, however (emphasis mine):
REPORTER: Why didn’t you allow for a vote?
REID: That’s the reason we need to do comprehensive immigration reform. We cannot do it piecemeal.
REPORTER: You go to the unemployment office, though, and there’s many US citizens who are unemployed construction workers and they don’t have specific jobs because, right now, some of those construction companies find it easier to hire undocumented workers.
REID: I think that any information you have in that regard is absolutely without foundation
VOICEOVER: We told Senator Reid of a Pew Hispanic Center study showing 17% of all construction workers are here illegally.
REID: That may be someplace, but it’s not here in Nevada.
VOICEOVER: But their latest 2009 numbers show that Nevada is the state with the highest percentage of unauthorized immigrants in the labor force.