Letter No. 38: Immigration reform now!
Felicia Persaud | 8/1/2013, 11:55 a.m. | Updated on 8/1/2013, 11:55 a.m.
Dear Mr. President,
Following the George Zimmerman verdict, the discussion has focused on racial profiling in America, but Rep. Steve King does not seem to care, feeling the need to spew his hate against immigrants in the United States.
King’s diatribe was published on conservative news website Newsmax, focusing on his reaction to high-achieving young immigrants. “For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” said King.
But King, the son of an Iowa state police dispatcher and a homemaker, did not stop there. During an interview on comprehensive immigration reform on Spanish-language network Univision, King defended his “pick of the litter” speech made in Pocahontas, Iowa, in 2012, when he compared immigrants to hunting dogs.
The congressman, when challenged by Univision host Jorge Ramos that the comments could be found to be “offensive and racist,” insisted: “It was a very complimentary speech.”
This is the state of mind of the Republican Party of old white men who feel threatened by the growing Brown and Black faces in America and the fact that the minority is fast becoming the majority.
Most of all, not only are these immigrants leading to a “browning” of America, but they are more likely to start a business than non‑immigrants, representing 16.7 percent of all new business owners in the United States while also providing job opportunities for thousands of Americans. Moreover, when compared to U.S.-born Americans, they are more likely to hold an advanced degree and are almost twice as likely to hold a Ph.D. Further, a recent study found that between 1990 and 2005, immigrants started 25 percent of venture‑backed U.S. public companies, employing more than 200,000 U.S. workers. Furthermore, some of the companies at the forefront of the digital revolution were co-founded by immigrants: Intel, Sun Microsystems, eBay, Google and Yahoo, to name a few.
For a former construction company owner and math major, one cannot possibly think for a minute that King is seeing all the data that points to the contributions of immigrants to this country—legal or not. So what data is King reading? Simple, the data that tells him the majority of his fourth congressional district in Iowa is white and he’d like to keep it that way. Forget the 2.5 percent Hispanic population there. King probably wants to see them take a hike out of the district anyway. If he didn’t, he would never feel the need to spew such racism.
No, King is too caught up in fear and bigotry like many members of the Republican Party to give a damn. And that includes John Boehner!
It is why, Mr. President, you must show real leadership on this issue of immigration reform. If Congress won’t act in a timely and proper manner, then you must. Use executive powers and show King et al who is the boss. That’s how real leaders lead—from the front, not bringing up the rear while racists run roughshod over hard working, innocent people.
The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.