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Letter No. 44: Immigration reform now!

Felicia Persaud | 9/12/2013, 4:43 p.m.
Felicia Persaud

Dear Mr. President,

Will the focus on Syria be the nuclear bomb on immigration reform at home?

That’s the concern of many, especially since all the talk of war has pushed immigration reform into almost oblivion with only three months to go before the end of 2013.

It’s absolutely sad and complete lunacy that you have turned into a war president and almost the same person you denounced during your run for the White House, when we all believed in your change message. In your first term, you managed to deport more immigrants than the man you had slammed, George W. Bush. Yet we forgave you and gave you a second chance in November 2012. Yet here you are, blowing it again!

Mr. President, you were re-elected to focus on the domestic agenda of the United States, not play top cop of the world. Let the United Nations deal with Bashar Hafez al-Assad. It’s not the United States’ job to start another unnecessary war that will only put our military men and women, many of them immigrants, in harm’s way and open us up here at home to all kinds of crazies who will undoubtedly see it as a license to commit open jihad.

Your job really should be laser-focused: the economy, jobs and immigration reform in the United States! No other issues are as important in 2013, even if you feel you will look weak because of your campaign talk about crossing the “red line.” The time for that battle has passed. What you should be doing is trying to get the world’s leaders to support UN action, not getting Congress and the American people to support another war with no end in sight.

We have come way too far to let Syria be the death of immigration reform. The focus now, as Rep. Luis Guiterrez said recently, is to drum up real bipartisan support for the measure in the House and in small towns across the United States. The many components to immigration reform have to be put in the spotlight on a daily basis. A campaign featuring PSAs on major TV channels is the only way to curb ignorance and hate.

Focus on the economics of reform and on recent data from the Immigration Policy Center, which shows how about 1.8 million U.S. citizens, mainly Asians and Latinos, become eligible to vote in each two-year election cycle. Together, these groups will constitute 34 percent of all new eligible voters in the 2014 elections alone. The consistent educational campaign has to focus on the economics and political ramifications for both sides if they refuse to pass this measure this year. That should be among your front burner issues—not a war on Syria.

Respectfully,

Felicia Persaud

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