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Letter No. 81: Immigration reform now!

Souleo - | 6/5/2014, 10:51 a.m.
It is very disappointing that you have chosen to cave to House Republicans yet again by choosing to delay the ...
Felicia Persaud

Dear Mr. President,

It is very disappointing that you have chosen to cave to House Republicans yet again by choosing to delay the release of the results of the review of your administration’s deportation policies and the Pentagon’s plan that would have allowed certain young unauthorized immigrants who grew up in the United States to enlist in the military.

The move shows a lack of sound leadership and proves that, yet again, you are willing to knife your most ardent supporters in the back and play political football, as you have done since 2008 with immigration reform and the lives of millions of immigrants in desperate need of some reform.

Mr. President, the reality is that House Republicans are never going to move on comprehensive immigration reform under your administration. They have made that very clear, even as you have given and given, nearly alienating your base in the process.

You have given so much to Republicans that now your legacy will also be “deporter-in-chief,” as in your quest to show you are upholding the laws, you have now deported more immigrants out of this country than any U.S. president, including the Republican ones. Even veterans have been kicked out by your administration after putting their lives on the line.

Now Democrats too are appalled with your inconsistent leadership. Caribbean-American Rep. Yvette D. Clarke this week joined several colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to point out that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have been sent to courthouses to question people suspected of lacking legal status.

This suspicion, she said, is typically based on the person’s ethnicity or their preference for a language other than English.

Such actions are deplorable and create more fear, as they tell your base that you simply do not care. At the end of the day, if you refuse to let some executive actions be taken within the confines of the laws, it is the Democrats who will pay the price this fall.

No immigrant voters will give their votes to the GOP, but out of frustration, they may simply stay home because they lack the motivation to go out and vote. Vote for what? More backstabbing and lip service?

The New York Times editorial board called the delay “ridiculous” and “infuriating.” It is time to quit giving the House GOP space to move on reform and act within the power of the Constitution and the laws. Let the results of the review of the U.S. Customs and Enforcement deportation policies be released now.

And let Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s “initial action to allow for the enlistment” of young, undocumented immigrants stand. No need to be weak now. You are a lion. Roar into action, not malarkey.

Respectfully,

Felicia Persaud

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