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Letter No. 62: Immigration reform now!

Felicia Persaud | 1/23/2014, 11 a.m.
Felicia Persaud

Dear Mr. President,

That crazy group ironically called “FAIR” has already gone into overdrive ever since the announcement that a Republican set of immigration “principles” will be floated to the House GOP caucus. A certainly proactive bunch indeed! Democratic and left-wing groups should take a page from their book.

On Jan. 15, the group released a press release to the national media slamming Republicans who are trying to come up with some solution to the issue of 11.5 million undocumented immigrants without forcing the Senate bill down their caucus’ throats and scaring them further right.

But FAIR, not to be outdone, quickly pulled the trigger, using the word that scares many Americans in Middle America: amnesty. Like Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin at a convention of the semi-literates, this group, whose name I refuse to say more than twice, immediately sold the bag of lies again, claiming: “Any policy that legalizes illegal aliens is amnesty and will lead to even more illegal immigration.”

Really? So what then is the fair solution? We cannot possibly deport 11.5 million-plus people without our economy paying a serious price because many are doing jobs Americans are refusing while still more are creating jobs for Americans and others are filling jobs Americans do not have the skills to take.

House Majority Leader John Boehner knows this. So Reps. Eric Cantor and Bob Goodlatte. Never mind what Rep. Steve King thinks. He’s in the minority like that “F” group. It is why they know they must move on immigration reform this year ahead of the primary elections that could see many of their own left out in the cold. As the National Foundation for American Policy declared recently, the “House and Senate could be positioned for agreement on legalization of the unauthorized immigrants.”

Why? Because as Stuart Anderson, who authored the report, pointed out, “Legalization of the unauthorized immigrant population can be a key element in a political compromise to fix major flaws in America’s immigration system. Without legalization, it is unlikely the United States will see any major changes in immigration law on low skill or high.”

Hear that, “F” group? There has to be some form of legalization, even if it falls short of citizenship. Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has publicly discussed a two-stage approach to legalization: one, unauthorized immigrants would be provided legal status, which would remove the specter of deportation and allow lawful employment and travel outside the country; and two, such individuals could gain permanent residence (green cards) if they were sponsored and immigrated through a family or employment category.

Let’s hope the so-called “principles” move on that soon. If not, Mr. President, the time may come when you must pull out your pen and sign an executive order that brings relief to the 11.5 million people desperately in need of immigration reform.

Let’s show FAIR what exactly is fair. Hopefully the “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions” comment you made on Jan. 14 was no bluff on your part.

Respectfully,

Felicia Persaud

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