I guess he's had a little change of heart. FLASHBACK: Dem Senate Leader Harry Reid: 'Our Federal Wallet Stretched To Limit By Illegal Aliens Getting Welfare' 'Even worse, Americans have seen heinous crimes committed by individuals who are here illegally' August 5, 1993 The Office of Sen. Harry Reid issued the following: In response to increased terrorism and abuse of social programs by aliens, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) today introduced the first and only comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress. Currently, an alien living illegally in the United States often pays no taxes but receives unemployment, welfare, free medical care and other federal benefits. Recent terrorist acts, including the World Trade Center bombing, have underscored the need to keep violent criminals out of the country. Reid's bill, the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993, overhauls the nation's immigration laws and calls for a massive scale-down of immigrants allowed into the country from approximately 800,000 to 300,000. The bill also changes asylum laws to prevent phony asylum seekers. Reid said the U.S. open door policy is being abused at the expense of honest, working citizens. "We are a country founded upon fairness and justice," Reid said. "An individual in real threat of torture or long-term incarceration because of his or her political beliefs can still seek asylum. But this bill closes the door to those who want to abuse America's inherent generosity and legal system." Reid's bill also cracks down on illegal immigration. The 1990 census reported 3.3 million illegal aliens in America. Recent estimates indicate about 2.5 million immigrants illegally entered the United States last year. "Our borders have overflowed with illegal immigrants placing tremendous burdens on our criminal justice system, schools and social programs," Reid said. "The Immigration and Naturalization Service needs the ability to step up enforcement. "Our federal wallet is stretched to the limit by illegal aliens getting welfare, food stamps, medical care and other benefits often without paying any taxes. "Safeguards like welfare and free medical care are in place to boost Americans in need of short-term assistance. These programs were not meant to entice freeloaders and scam artists from around the world. "Even worse, Americans have seen heinous crimes committed by individuals who are here illegally," Reid said. Specific provisions of Reid's Immigration Stabilization Act include the following: -- Reduces annual legal immigration levels from approximately 800,000 admissions per year to about 300,000. Relatives other than spouse or minor children will be admitted only if already on immigration waiting lists and their admission does not raise annual immigration levels above 300,000. -- Reforms asylum rules to prevent aliens from entering the United States illegally under phony "asylum" claims. -- Expands list of felonies considered "aggravated" felonies requiring exclusion and deportation of criminal aliens. Allows courts to order deportation at time of sentencing. -- Increases penalties for failing to depart or re-entering the United States after a final order of deportation order. Increases maximum penalties for visa fraud from five years to 10 years. -- Curtails alien smuggling by authorizing interdiction and repatriation of aliens seeking to enter the United States unlawfully by sea. Increases penalties for alien smuggling. -- Adds "alien smuggling" to the list of crimes subject to sanctions under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Expands the categories of property that are forfeited when used to facilitate the smuggling or harboring of illegal aliens. -- Clarifies that a person born in the United States to an alien mother who is not a lawful resident is not a U.S. citizen. This will eliminate incentive for pregnant alien women to enter the United States illegally, often at risk to mother and child, for the purpose of acquiring citizenship for the child and accompanying federal financial benefits. -- Mandates that aliens who cannot demonstrably support themselves without public or private assistance are excludable. This will prevent admission of aliens likely to be dependent on public financial support. This requirement extends to the sponsor of any family sponsored immigrant. -- Increases border security and patrol officers to 9,900 full-time positions.