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Reid's Liberal Amnesty Promise Makes It to Print - But His Reversal Only Makes It Online

Julia Preston's celebration of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's promise to push for amnesty for illegals "this year" made Sunday's print edition. Yet Reid's reversal three days later was relegated to nytimes.com.
When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushed one of the Times pet issues over the weekend - amnesty for illegal immigrants - it got big play in the print edition. But when he reversed himself just three days later, it was nowhere to be found in print, only online.

Congressional reporter Carl Hulse "Caucus" post on Tuesday afternoon, "Reid Hits Pause Button on Immigration," found the embattled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid backing away from the very amnesty push he promised in a rally before 6,000 cheering supporters, mostly immigrants, in Las Vegas on Saturday.

According to a Times report, Reid told the cheering crowd: "We're going to come back, we're going to have comprehensive immigration reform now....We need to do this this year."

Just three days later, Reid said never mind. From Hulse's Tuesday online filing, which didn't make the Wednesday print edition of the Times:

Senator Harry Reid retreated today from having the Senate move quickly on immigration law changes, saying any overhaul would have to wait.

"We won't get to immigration reform this work period," Mr. Reid, Democrat of Nevada and the majority leader, told reporters after the private weekly luncheon of Democratic senators.

Over the weekend, Mr. Reid raised the hopes of immigration advocates by suggesting at a rally in Las Vegas that he was ready to put immigration on the legislative front burner now that health care legislation was out of the way and Congress was returning from a two-week break.

"We're going to come back, we're going to have comprehensive immigration reform now," he said in a speech to more than 6,000 people, mostly immigrants.

While Hulse's story didn't make the print edition, Julia Preston's original Sunday piece on Reid pushing one of the Times pet issues - amnesty for illegal immigrants - took up the top half of page A21 in the Sunday paper, a 980-word story including two large photos from Saturday's Las Vegas rally: "From Senate Majority Leader, a Promise to Take Up Immigration Overhaul."

Reid certainly didn't hedge in his fiery speech:

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, told an exuberant crowd at an immigration rally Saturday in Las Vegas that Congress would start work on an immigration overhaul as soon as lawmakers return this week from a recess.

"We're going to come back, we're going to have comprehensive immigration reform now," he said in a speech to more than 6,000 people, mostly immigrants, gathered downtown.

"We need to do this this year," Mr. Reid said, drawing cheers from the crowd, which included many Latinos. "We cannot wait."


Mr. Reid surprised immigrants and advocates with his direct commitment to moving forward with legislation on the volatile issue, with the Senate already divided by the passage of a health care overhaul. Also, as a result of Justice John Paul Stevens's announcement last week that he would retire, the Obama administration and the Senate will have to focus this summer on winning confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee.

So Reid's push of a liberal pet issue was worthy of big play in the print edition. Yet when he reversed himself three days later, it was relegated to a post at nytimes.com.

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