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Letter No. 59: Immigration reform now!

Felicia Persaud | 1/2/2014, 10:26 a.m.
Dear Mr. President, On Christmas Day, the man who holds the future of immigration policy in his hands tweeted a ...
Felicia Persaud

Dear Mr. President,

On Christmas Day, the man who holds the future of immigration policy in his hands tweeted a message that said: “From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas.”

The tweet included a photo of a Christmas tree with Capitol Hill in the background and said: “May this holiday season bring peace and goodwill to you and your family.” It was signed by the Boehner family, which I’m guessing also includes Jamaican immigrant now that he is officially part of the family!

I’m not sure if you saw this given your Hawaii vacation and all, but one can only wonder whether the message was also intended for the 11-plus million undocumented immigrants and their families as well.

Was this also meant for the many who marched and protested for immigration reform in 2013? Was it intended for those who were arrested following a sit-in protest outside of Boehner’s office? What about the two little girls who were brave enough to approach Boehner at his breakfast—the two dreamers whose dads were among tens of thousands deported. Do you think this was meant for them too?

One can only hope, especially because New Year’s is here—a time for hope and new dreams. Maybe after talking to Santa and Lakhan at a family dinner, Boehner will have the sense to tweet out a new message in early 2014 that simply says: “Happy New Year from my family to yours. Let’s get this immigration vote on now!”

Well, maybe it’s not his style, but one can only hope that ganja-smoking son-in-law of his may be influential enough to get him to take a chill pill. Enough with being uptight already—it’s time to get radical and kick some tea party butt in 2014, even if it means switching out Nicotine for some healthy weed.After all, he ended 2013 picking a fight with the Heritage Action folks, so we can only dream, right?

But beyond the dream of a new generation and the protests of 2013, we know that 2014 is going to be a year for more significant lobbying, and if Boehner and the GOP members in immigrant-populated districts want to win back their seats, they had better move on immigration reform come Jan. 13.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement group has pledged to see Congress on day one of their 2014 session, and things are definitely going to heat up. So Mr. President, look out for a rise in the tide of protests, lobbying and civil disobedience come 2014. This is the civil rights issue of today, and there can be no rest until there is legal status for those who live and pay taxes here and contribute to the economy of this country daily.

I hope you use your State of the Union to reiterate the need for this issue and recognize the many young activists who have become the new face of the immigration reform fight, much like the activists who were a part of the civil rights fight. It’s time for immigrant power to be unleashed! Let’s get moving.

Respectfully,

Felicia Persaud

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