After Voting To Deport Them, GOP Congressman Now Backs Path To Citizenship For DREAMers

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) came out for a pathway to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants during a town hall event over the weekend, saying that he supported providing a pathway for DREAMers, undocumented youth without a criminal past.

“On the issue of immigration, especially when you bring up the kids,” Reed said, “that is something that I’m sensitive to, that I recognize, that these individuals, especially the kids, came here innocently. And there needs to be a path forward for them. And that path forward includes citizenship.”

Watch it, at 10:33:

Reed has previously said of a pathway to citizenship, “this is amnesty.” He was one of the Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote for an amendment offered by Rep. Steve King (R-IA) that would have deported DREAMers.


During the same town hall Reed did say that he would vote against the Senate’s immigration reform bill as it stands. The Congressman was also confronted by farm workers and immigration reform advocates who urged him to back the legislation, and spoke emotionally about experiencing profiling by law enforcement in the Congressman’s area.

Reed, like so many of his Republican colleagues, advocated for a piecemeal approach to immigration reform, cherry picking aspect of the Senate’s bill — like a pathway for DREAMers — to pass as standalone pieces of legislation. That approach, however, has serious drawbacks; it would force the House and Senate to go to conference committee over the different legislation, where it could likely get caught in a permanent limbo, with no reform effort ever passing. It is not likely that any bill emerging from the piecemeal approach would include citizenship for most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.