What now for immigration reform?

Felicia Persaud | 4/8/2021, midnight
It’s been almost 50 days already as of today, April 8, 2021, since the introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act ...
Felicia Persaud

It’s been almost 50 days already as of today, April 8, 2021, since the introduction of the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 and the attempt to modernize the U.S. immigration system. But there has been no movement on this bill since.

Easter has come and gone and the excitement around immigration reform has taken a nosedive to where we are back to only speaking about Dreamers.

But on April 1, in what was no All-Fools Day spoof, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) suddenly had an epiphany. This is the same Manchin who killed the $15-per-hour federal wage raise and who has stated he will “never” support the killing of the filibuster rule.

Manchin, after a visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, stated that it is “past time” for Congress to address immigration reform, including a path to citizenship.

The exact quote from this Conservative Blue Dog Democrat during a press conference was: “It is beyond time, past time, to do immigration reform. Immigration reform should be a pathway to citizenship. People that have been here, they might have come here the wrong way, but they came here for the right reason.”

And there was more. “We have children that came here that have no other home but America. There should be a pathway for that, for our dreamers,” he added.

Wow! Is this the same guy or did he take some mind-altering medication? Or was he simply jive talking?

The reality is that Democrats have no chance of passing the comprehensive U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 in the Senate unless Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) join all other Democrats in supporting the ending of the filibuster. So he can talk all he wants.

It is the only way President Biden will be able to get immigration reform or any other major changes passed through the body, given the decision by Republicans to play the same old card they played against President Obama––the block everything card.

If Manchin is really serious about immigration reform, he will back his Party in ending the filibuster rule. It is the only way Senator, that––to use your own words––“this can happen.”

And yes, you are right. “Common sense can prevail.” You sir hold the key to that, so use your own “common sense” and end the filibuster so that things can begin to happen.

I absolutely agree with you that any reform must happen by shutting down the border right now and beefing up border security, adding more immigration judges and allowing for immigrants trying to come here to apply for asylum back in their home countries rather than here in the U.S.

These are all amendments that can be added to the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 to help truly reform the U.S.’ immigration system; end the annual southern border crisis and give legal status to people who are in the country without having asylum seekers jump in line ahead of those living here for decades without legal working papers.

You, Joe Manchin, can make this all a reality; but first, the other reality is that the filibuster rule must be ended. Will you support your party in progress or will you continue protect 50 Republicans in the Senate?

You hold the cards on this Senator Manchin, and it is past time indeed for you to move the ball forward on immigration reform. You can do it. The only question is––will you?

The writer is publisher of NewsAmericasNow