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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reignited the immigration debate Wednesday, insisting on comprehensive legislation and rejecting legal status only for immigrants illegally in the country.
"We are not going to pass single bills over here. We want comprehensive immigration reform," Reid, D-Nev., said.
His comments to Latino reporters came as Republicans are preparing to outline their principles of immigration reform, possibly before the president's State of the Union address. Some of the ideas already are contained in separate bills they've passed through committee but not moved to the floor or are drafting.
The House has rejected the Senate's comprehensive approach and have said they would not go to conference on the comprehensive bill.
Reid said Boehner's talk about doing something on immigration is a step forward, but "we are not going to do a bill that doesn't meet the framework we've set, especially pathway to citizenship."
"I'm not backing away from that," Reid said. Some people may think Democrats have an "evil method" with what they are doing and criticize it as amnesty, he said. "Frankly there is a lot of racism that goes into that … that this is just to help brown-skinned people," Reid said.