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Letter No. 78 Immigration reform now!

Immigration Korner

Felicia Persaud | 5/15/2014, 11:10 a.m.
You should send a congratulatory note to U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chamber President Tom Donohue.
Felicia Persaud

Dear Mr. President,

You should send a congratulatory note to U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chamber President Tom Donohue. In fact, so should all Democrats.

Donohue is right on the money. His advice to the Republican Party on Monday is something they should pay attention to now. “If the Republicans don’t do it [immigration reform], they shouldn’t bother to run a candidate in 2016. I mean, think about that. Think about who the voters are,” Donohue said Monday.

It’s a wakeup call to Republican Party members who don’t get the bigger picture, including House Speaker John Boehner. I have said it consistently on WLIB’s “GBE Mindflight” for weeks now: If the GOP fails to pass immigration reform, it should give up on its dream of ever winning back the White House.

Still, instead of listening to Donohue, on Monday Boehner put the blame on you, saying your appointments to the National Labor Relations Board and delays to the Affordable Care Act’s implementation breached the trust you had with House Republicans.

“We’re at a point where my colleagues don’t trust that the president will implement the law the way we would see it passed. So I put the ball back in the president’s court. He’s going to have to do something to demonstrate his trustworthiness,” Boehner was quoted as saying.

Of course, it is complete nonsense, but since he has put the ball back in your court, I think you should show the speaker you’re willing to take it and run for the touchdown. Delivering an unequivocally clear message that all children have a right to enroll in public schools regardless of their citizenship or immigration status is a great first start. Additionally, changing the policies at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to allow spouses of certain H-1B visa holders to work in the U.S. will be good for this country and for thousands who will be working in the U.S. tech sector under the program.

Many are currently looking forward to the Department of Homeland Security’s expected memo in the next month outlining new policies aimed at slowing deportations of undocumented immigrants. We need this to happen by Rep. Luis Guiterrez’s deadline of July.

The GOP has made it clear they will do nothing under your administration. Now it’s time for your administration to use its executive power and act on behalf of the 11 million-plus illegal immigrants and especially for the future of the Democratic Party.

Your decision this summer will impact generations to come. Mr. President, you must act now! Stop deportations and make deferred departure a reality for the undocumented who continue to live in fear with no hope.

Respectfully,

Felicia Persaud

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