Reid Courts Hispanic Voters in Univision Appearance

Posted October 31, 2010 at 9:31pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday that he would push for passage of legislation aimed at providing citizenship to illegal immigrants who serve in the military or attend U.S. colleges, and he accused conservatives of airing racist ads aimed at suppressing Latino votes in Nevada.

In an interview on “Al Punto,” Univision’s Sunday public affairs television show, the Nevada Democrat said he would bring up the immigration legislation, known as the Dream Act, in the Senate’s lame-duck session.

Reid also took aim at conservatives — including Sharron Angle, the Republican challenging him in the midterm elections for his Senate seat — when asked about ads urging Latinos in Nevada not to vote, arguing that they are racist.

“To think that she would never even denounce efforts made to tell Hispanics not to vote,” Reid said. “Anybody [who has seen the ads] says that they’re racist in their nature.”

Reid also brushed aside polls showing Angle with a slight lead in the hotly contested race, arguing that the data does not take into account thousands of Nevadans who do not have landline telephones. State law prohibits the random dialing of cell phone numbers, he said.

“Our polling shows us where we want to be,” he said. “We are satisfied where we want to be. We believe that the Republicans know where we are, and that’s why my opponent’s been so desperate, doing some things that have been very, very, very mean-spirited.”

Reid also addressed the recent resignation of Diana Tejada, his press secretary for Hispanic media. She left Reid’s staff last week after Fox News reported that she had entered into an illegal marriage to try to help a Lebanese man gain U.S. residency.

“As soon as I learned about this situation with her, we conducted an investigation, and it appeared she did some things that were absolutely wrong,” Reid said. “And as a result of that, I felt it was appropriate that … I accept her resignation.”