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Letter No. 29: Immigration reform now!

Felicia Persaud | 6/20/2013, 1:01 p.m.
Dear Mr. President, Now that the "Gang of Eight" in the Senate's Judiciary Committee has...
Letter No. 30: Immigration reform now!

Dear Mr. President,

Now that the "Gang of Eight" in the Senate's Judiciary Committee has run out of amendments and actually pushed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act on to the floor for a full-vote soon, the real tango begins.

Especially since House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte all knocked heads together and announced on Thursday, May 23 that while "the House remains committed to fixing our broken immigration system ... we will not simply take up and accept the bill that is emerging in the Senate if it passes."

Seems Boehner's new immigrant son-in-law has done nothing to soften his stance on immigration reform, so it looks like there will be another dragged out boxing match with possibly a new bill and more amendments in committee in the House, and then a squabble between the Senate and House members and more back and forth while immigrants, immigrant advocates, employers and unions hold their collective breath. At least Republicans are talking, but the real question is, where are the Democrats? Have they all gotten a case of laryngitis in the House?

The concern now, Mr. President, is that the immigration bill that passed the Senate Committee was at the same juncture in June 2007, before it died a painful death.

Now with Republicans like Goodlatte holding the gate in the House committee and talk of a different bill that is stamped approved by Republican leaders, who knows if we are heading for the summer of disbelief all over again. I certainly hope not.

The reality is, there are enough in the 300-plus amendments in the Senate bill to more than gain Republican and Tea Party approval. Not one of these 11-plus million undocumented migrants will be handed citizenship papers until the border is secured. We get that and can hold our noses and take it if it means this bill can finally make it on to your desk and become law.

Too bad last November's election results have now pushed aside in the memory banks of Republicans, even though they were quick to switch sides on this issue in the face of tremendous losses owing to a lack of diversity of their base.

The reality for the GOP and Boehner is that America's changing face of voters will keep on changing even without this measure, and they can't do a darn thing to stop it. It's time for the Tea Party and Republican base to face this, embrace this bill and join us all in a "Kumbaya" moment or keep on losing!

Respectfully,

Felicia Persaud

The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.