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Letter No. 57: Immigration Reform Now!

Felicia Persaud | 12/19/2013, 2:49 p.m.
Boehner has seemingly criticized conservative organizations and tried to put some distance between him and them so he can win ...
Felicia Persaud

Dear Mr. President,

It’s almost Christmas, and Santa has been closely watching the many participants in the immigration reform debate this year who have been naughty or nice. Somehow—praise the Lord—it seems Speaker John Boehner has had an awakening! He remembered that Santa has not delivered his gift yet and is trying his best to be suddenly nice to avoid the huge bag of coal in his stocking this year.

In what can only be seen as a last-minute dash to get on Santa’s nice list, Boehner has seemingly criticized conservative organizations and tried to put some distance between him and them so he can win points with Santa and Hispanic voters next year.

The speaker, it seems, is not waiting until the New Year to line his ducks up and turn the focus back on immigration next spring. He’s hired Rebecca Tallent, who worked on bipartisan immigration legislation for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) as a new staffer, even as House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), whose committee is weighing a number of bills, called immigration a “top priority” in 2014 while House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) reached an agreement on a budget.

And there’s more. Boehner is making sure he slaps those who he feels were naughty this year in the process and is not waiting around on Santa to pass out the coal.

As Boehner said about the right-wing groups that opposed the budget before they’d seen it: “They’re using our members, and they’re using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous. Frankly, I just think that they have lost all credibility.”

Good for you, John! Santa and Jesus are both proud.

Now that you’ve put the right wing in their place—it’s about time, by the way—now it’s time to get back to dealing with immigration reform outside of the silly caucus and without the “Hastert Rule.” Show them who’s the man!

Time to give a gift of legal status to the 11 million-plus undocumented immigrants in this country who, like Vice President Joe Biden accurately said, are Americans. Think about it: If they can vote for contestants on “The Voice” as U.S. “residents,” then they are Americans, right?

So on to the passage of a bill or several bills that can make this happen come early 2014. Remember, Santa is still watching.

And Mr. President, one more thing: Stay out of it for now and let dear Boehner get his flock in line. We all know he hates you to be right and refuses to listen to anything you say. So let him lead his rams and ewes for a bit and let Santa work his magic this holiday. Maybe he will get a gift that’s not coal after all.

Respectfully,

Felicia Persaud

The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.