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Letter No. 86: Immigration reform now!

Felicia Persaud | 7/31/2014, 11:51 a.m.
The Republican-controlled House should have its own “#Houseofmadmen” hashtag on Twitter. That, I can assure you, would trend high daily.
Felicia Persaud

Dear Mr. President,

The Republican-controlled House should have its own “#Houseofmadmen” hashtag on Twitter. That, I can assure you, would trend high daily.

Having wasted more than a year sitting on the U.S. Senate’s “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” or S. 744, and failing to pass a rational solution to immigration reform, the House GOP of “Mad Men” is now talking about impeachment should you take action where they failed.

Really? House Republicans could put the final nail in their coffin for a White House run in 2016 should they pursue such action. A CNN poll released on Friday, July 26 shows that 65 percent of Americans are opposed to impeaching you, Mr. President.

Further, as the records show, Congress rarely uses its power to impeach, and when it has, impeachment has only infrequently worked and in the case of a president, never resulted in removal from office.

Even the GOP’s own Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has offered a sober rebuke, stating on “ABC News”: “The Constitution is very clear as to what constitutes grounds for impeachment of the president of the United States. He has not committed the kind of criminal acts that call for that.”

So what kind of crimes lead to impeachment? Article I § 2 of the United States Constitution gives the House of Representatives the sole power to impeach (make formal charges against) and Article I § 3 gives the Senate the sole power to try impeachments. Article II § 4 of the Constitution provides as follows:

“The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Using presidential executive power within the confines of already set U.S. laws, especially as it relates to immigration, can hardly be grounds for impeachment. But, of course, that may not stop the tea party engine from driving their new majority whip to push such a motion—anything to take away from the massive failure that has become the U.S. House led by John Boehner!

The reality is, Mr. President, that even if the “I” card is pulled, you cannot be removed from office, and with two-and-half years to go, the time is now to show the Congress who is in charge. It is long past time to give your legacy a boost by finally delivering on your campaign promise and giving some relief to desperate immigrants who have been living in the United States, working, paying taxes and contributing to the very fabric of our society, even though they lack working papers and cannot benefit from any type of social programs.

I hope you will not let this summer pass without moving to use your power to act where Congress failed. Allow the parents of the “Dreamers,” or young people already granted deportation deferrals by your administration, to also apply for temporary protected status or deferred deportation. Likewise, allow immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens to apply for temporary legal status, which would let them work legally in the U.S.

Most of all, allow the Department of Defense to move ahead on its plan to enlist undocumented Dreamers in the armed services while you grant employment authorization to international students and skilled migrants who hold degrees and ensure that the Secure Communities program is focusing solely on deporting criminal immigrants rather than those migrants who have been living here for years and whose only crime is being undocumented.

There’s a lot that can be done administratively. The time to act is now! Let the summer of 2014 be one to be remembered by immigrants across this great land who have been living here for many, many years.

Respectfully,

Felicia Persaud

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