Letter No.28: Immigration reform now!
Felicia Persaud | 6/20/2013, 1:01 p.m.
Dear Mr. President,
Now that Speaker John Boehner has a Black immigrant in his family, there is no way he can say no to comprehensive immigration reform.
Dominic Lakhan, a Jamaican-born, dreadlocked construction worker with an arrest record for ganja, is now the official son-in-law of the highly conservative white Republican speaker of the U.S. Congress as of May 10. To say Linsday Boehner has taken diversity to a whole new level for the Republican Party and her family is an understatement, but kudos to her for standing up for her Caribbean love!
Now it may be time to have a chat with Lakhan and see if he can be the go-between with you and his father-in-law. The whole world knows Boehner likes to play hard ball with you, so how truly ironic it is that he now has to deal with this dreadlocked Black man who likes weed and has a record in his own family?
That cannot make him too happy, but at least he showed up and walked his daughter down the aisle and seemed happy for her, even if it was all pretend. Who knows, he may have even shed a few tears too.
And if it's not all pretend, then Boehner has more reason to push for comprehensive immigration reform in the House. This could be his moment of glory in the Republican Party and the time to show that the opposition to immigration reform is not a racist agenda, despite what that Heritage Foundation report says. He also has a chance to disprove his claims on May 16 that the House's bipartisan immigration group might implode on the hot-button issue.
But Boehner needs to at least rally a couple of dozen Republican representatives to vote for the measure--only a couple--and it could become law in 2013. He can do it!
He has to do it for his immigrant son-in-law and his half-immigrant grandchildren to come. This could become his true legacy indeed. After all, what else can he pin his hopes of being remembered on except his tan and his tears?
Caribbean immigrants for their part should be motivated enough now to make sure their voices are heard on this issue, especially since we can now say we have a connection on both sides of the aisle.
And I'm sure Lakhan can be persuaded to also sing something about this into his new father-in-law's ear. I can imagine the conversation may go something like this:
"Yo Father B! You know, I and I have some brethren back a yard and some inna dis country that really need this immigration thing fuh pass suh. So see wha yuh can do nuh rathid. And if you need some help fuh get them bl-- clat tea party man them inna line fuh vote pon it, mek me know ... me call down fire pon them. Jah, Rastafari!"
The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.