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Dear Mr. President,
You must have gotten my 77th letter, which I personally mailed to you last week. The fact that you have now put a deadline in place for immigration reform tells me you must have.
It is what I suggested, and while I take no credit at all, I’m glad you have finally gotten enough of a backbone to lay down the law for many House Republicans, who it seems are under the illusion that they, not you, are the head of the free world, aka the United States of America.
I’m sure the ancestors will be proud of you for standing firm and bold in the face of the upstarts, racists and bigots on the far right who are intent on blocking immigration reform. Many still are under the notion that America is still the America of days gone—when slaves were property and “Black” and “Brown” meant “less than.”
There are still many who feel a new kind of slavery is fine—the kind where Brown immigrants slave on farms and in other menial jobs for little to nothing for countless hours and who, in their opinion, deserve to be kept in this position.
But you are right. It cannot be business as usual. The GOP House leadership must put up or be shut up at the midterm polls if they do not deliver immigration reform by the summer.
And the time is right now, especially with Sal Russo, co-founder of the Tea Party Express, this week claiming, “Tea Party voters want solutions to the real problems facing America, and immigration is no exception. We encourage Congress to take action this year and provide conservative, free-market, common sense solutions to the problems in our immigration system.”
Wow! That definitely must be a shocker. As my Granny would have said: “Wonders never cease!”
Even Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservatives Union, weighed in, taking a cue from U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas Donohue and stating, “Congress has a great opportunity to bring conservative ideals to the immigration debate and remake our immigration system into one that respects our laws and our borders, accommodates those that want to come to America to contribute and recognizes the needs of the U.S. economy.”
It’s time to keep up the pressure. It’s good that conservatives are pushing their own, but you can’t stop now. Announce the threat of executive order, and if they won’t deliver by July, then I suggest you use it as best as you can to stop the deportations and help ease the pain of 11.5 million who bought your “Yes, we can” (“Si, se puede”) dream in 2008 and handed you the White House.
Now it’s time to stand up to the bullies and show the heart you showed before 2009. Time to deliver, Mr. President.
The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.