Back to profile

Felicia Persaud

Stories by Felicia

Will Pope Francis soften any hearts on immigration?

Pope Mania is over now that the Holy Father is back in Rome, leaving many wondering whether his remarks on immigration, made to the U.S. Congress last week, managed to soften any hearts.

The changing face of America

The rise of immigrants in Silicon Valley

Just in case it was previously unclear, the browning of America is proceeding at a rapid rate. Nowhere is it more obvious than Silicon Valley, where the rise of immigrants continues.

First GOP debate shows party is on fast track to Lose-ville

Loseville, USA! That’s exactly where the robotic bunch of GOP presidential hopefuls is heading—and fast.

The reality of no illegal immigration

Donald Trump’s platform for president of the United States seems to be to throw gasoline on the fire of issues that stir the growing band of right-wingers, afraid of the increased darkening of America, into an anti-immigrant rage.

Immigrant killers versus police killings of Blacks

During an obviously politically motivated hearing on July 21 by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary titled “Oversight of the Administration’s Misdirected Immigration Enforcement Policies: Examining the Impact on Public Safety and Honoring the Victims,” Jim Steinle, whose daughter was recently killed by an undocumented immigrant in San Francisco, testified.

Terror has many faces, and they’re not all immigrant

In the days after the Chattanooga, Tenn., killing of four U.S. marines by Muslim immigrant Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the right is more frenzied, with calls for an end to not just immigration but to “Muslim immigration” to the U.S.

The continual scapegoating of immigrants

Shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, July 10, the controversial Confederate flag located on the grounds of the South Carolina capitol was taken down after a 54-year run.

What July 4 means to me as an immigrant

This July 4 marked only my second year as a naturalized citizen of the United States.

The SCOTUS ruling and immigration law

The historic Supreme Court ruling Friday, June 26 in the case of Jim Obergefell, which gives same-sex couples the right to marry in any U.S. state and established that they have the same rights as heterosexuals, now puts the spotlight again on the immigration rights of same-sex couples.

Tease photo

The hypocrisy of the right

Now that the U.S. federal court has halted the president’s immigration executive orders and the Trans-Pacific Partnership bill with an immigration component has died in the Congress, it looks bleak again for immigration reform.

It’s a month to celebrate Caribbean immigrants, but who really cares?

It’s officially National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, 30 days that are supposed to be about celebrating the contribution of Caribbean and West Indian immigrants in these United States.

Tease photo

The other immigrant swing voters

Time and again, when we hear of immigrant voters or the swing voting bloc it is always assumed they are Hispanic. But often ignored in the mix is the Asian voting bloc, which, like the Caribbean bloc, gets overlooked and taken for granted almost all the time.

Tease photo

Here’s another reason why the GOP will lose big in 2016

Insanity is defined as “extreme foolishness” or “irrationality” as well as “idiocy, stupidity or lunacy.” These are just some synonyms that can be used to define the actions of Republicans in the fight for the White House come 2016.

What Hillary Clinton needs to do to win the presidency

Like her or hate her, Hillary Clinton has made it clear she is going to fight like Ali to be the first female president of the United States.

The stricter the government, the wiser its population

As Justice Department lawyers Friday, April 17 urged the federal appeals court in New Orleans to let President Barack Obama’s November 2014 executive action on immigration immediately move forward, despite a legal challenge by 26 red states, my aunt called to tell me about the marriage of a 50-year-old immigrant caregiver to her 99-year-old employer.

Tease photo

Obama tackled on immigration at Jamaica town hall

s President Barack Obama met with Caribbean leaders in Jamaica Thursday, April 9, here in the U.S. Diaspora, I hoped that at least CARICOM leaders would have the good sense to raise the issue of immigration with the president, especially because Caribbean-American Rep.

What in the world is Cuomo thinking?

So much for New York being one of only a few states in the union to allow high school graduates who are undocumented immigrants to apply for state financial aid for college.

Tease photo

Chris Christie’s big fat mistake

It must be something in the Kool-Aid Republicans or, in this case, Republican presidential hopefuls—slurp!

Tease photo

The GOP’s demographic reality according to Ayres

I did not need to write a book about it, but I’ve said it about a hundred times in this column and on radio on WLIB’s “GBE Mindflight” with Imhotep Gary Byrd over the course of this past two years or more. Now veteran GOP pollster Whit Ayres is saying exactly this, but in an entire book.

Tease photo

Has the disrespect for the president extended to the courts?

How can 104 legal scholars and immigration law instructors be wrong and one judge be right?

Tease photo

Sanity has prevailed thanks to 75 brave Republicans

After much time wasting, sanity prevailed and a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security was averted, thanks in part to 75 brave Republicans.

Tease photo

GOP obsession with Obama’s immigration order will lead to loss in 2016

Since the new GOP-controlled Congress took over in January, they have done nothing but focus on President Barack Obama’s immigration order that is aimed to help millions of immigrants.

Tease photo

Another Republican hack who has no compassion

Conservative U.S. Southern District Judge Andrew S. Hanen has undoubtedly dealt a harsh blow to immigrants set to begin applying this week for relief under President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration reform.

Tease photo

USCIS to begin accepting expanded DACA applications

U.S. Citizenship AND Immigration Services is moving ahead with plans to process applications for those eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program as ordered under executive action by President Barack Obama.

Boohoo, Republicans!

Sitting in the birthplace of America’s greatest immigrant and hearing the madness being spewed by Republicans in Congress in Washington, D.C., makes me wonder how Alexander Hamilton would have been treated today if he were living as an immigrant in America.

Way to go, Loretta Lynch

As the Republican hound fest convened to try to discredit Lynch through U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama, the former New York district attorney stood her ground and defended the office and especially the president’s executive immigration action.

Tease photo

The GOP’s immigration solution

Wednesday, Jan. 21, the House Homeland Security Committee took up H.R.399, the Secure Our Border First Act of 2015, introduced by the committee’s chairman, Michael McCaul.

Kudos to the 26 brave Republican Congress members with sagacity

26 Republicans voted against an amendment passed on Jan. 14 that would block funds for President Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and overturn the president’s immigration executive actions from 2011.

Tease photo

House GOP: Beware the power of the immigrant vote

The House GOP has donned full riot gear and gone hard after the immigrants President Barack Obama has tried to help

Tease photo

The GOP’s ‘end to Homeland Security funding’ plan

In 2015, as I look into my crystal ball on immigration, it is clear that this will be another year of battle over the hot-button issue, especially now that the GOP has taken control of both houses of Congress.

Tease photo

Republicans continue to miss the boat on immigration

Last week, the Wall Street Journal carried a story that quoted the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security as saying he is preparing a border-security bill aimed at better measuring illegal crossings, with targeted improvements in equipment and technology along the Southwest border. On the Senate side, Ron Johnson, R.-Wis., the incoming chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, also told the paper that he hopes to have a framework for a border-security bill ready by late January.

Five million down, 6.5 million more to go

One hundred and two open letters to President Barack Obama; undocumented youth risking arrest and deportation each time they occupied the offices of members of Congress; parents who participated in direct action and sit-ins in front of the White House; and countless immigrant activists and organizations to rally the president and Democrats all came down to Thursday night, Nov. 20, and excitement over the long overdue, much publicized executive immigration action announcement.

Tease photo

Letter No. 102: Immigration reform now!

Dear Mr. President, Since you can’t say it publicly, I will—those darn Republicans have some nerve!

Letter No. 101: Immigration reform now!

The GOP may feel emboldened now, but the results from Nov. 4 do not reflect a national consensus—just agreement by a small group that is not your base anyway.

Letter No. 100: Immigration reform now!

Dear Mr. President, It has been 25 months to the date since I began writing these open letters to you calling for immigration reform now.

Open Letter #99: Immigration reform now!

Dare non-criminal undocumented immigrants and immigrant advocates get their hopes up one more time?

Letter No. 98: Immigration reform now!

With the Islamic State, Ebola, the economy and everything else in the mix, I know it’s very hard to keep your eye on immigration reform.

Letter No. 97: Immigration reform now!

Dear Mr. President, In less than a month, we will know who will control the U.S. Senate going forward. Will it remain blue or will it turn bloody red?

Letter No. 96: Immigration reform now!

Dear Mr. President, When you swept into office in 2008 on the backs of many immigrant voters, your promises of comprehensive immigration reform were glorious.

Letter No. 95: Immigration reform now!

A new Pew Research Center poll summed up the feelings across the country of many—both Democrats and Republicans—on the issue of illegal immigration.

Letter No. 94: Immigration reform now!

I endorse the Caucus’ call for you to “act boldly and use all legal means available to provide immediate and temporary relief from deportation to qualified immigrant workers and immigrant families.”

Letter No. 91: Immigration reform now!

After spending the entire year doing nothing on immigration reform and blocking and bashing every appeal, offer, lobby, cry and motion sent to them, the GOP is now up in arms over the possibility of you using administrative moves on the issue.

Tease photo

Letter No. 89: Immigration reform now!

Immigration Korner

On Labor Day, Sept. 1, Caribbean immigrants in New York will mark the 47th anniversary of the West Indian American Day Carnival. But most importantly, this year will mark some 414 years since West Indians have been in these United States, first as slaves and then as immigrants.

Tease photo

Letter No. 89: Immigration reform now!

Immigration Corner

In the past two weeks alone, the conservative groups and media have been very busy, unlike Democrats, in spinning tales about why executive action on the immigration front will not work.

Tease photo

Letter No. 88: Immigration reform now!

I’m sure you are all caught up on Twitter, but just in case you missed it, on Aug. 7, House Speaker John Boehner tweeted a picture of himself with a farmer with the caption: “Always great to spend time with America’s hard-working farmers and ranchers.”

Letter No. 87: Immigration reform now!

It’s amazing to me that both houses of Congress cannot agree on major issues of interest to Americans who elect them—including immigration reform—yet they did manage to pass legislation providing financing for Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system before they left Washington for the summer break.

Tease photo

Letter No. 86: Immigration reform now!

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

Letter No. 85: Immigration reform now!

Immigration Korner

Against the backdrop of the Statue of Liberty in New York City last week, dozens of New Yorkers gathered to urge you to make good on your remarks made June 30 to take executive action on immigration reform. New Yorkers for Real Immigration Reform Campaign, organized by the New York Immigration Coalition, want you and the White House to “act fast.”

Tease photo

Letter No. 84: Immigration reform now!

Immigration Corner

This past week, I was pleasantly surprised to receive from you and the White House a response to my personal immigration story and open letters calling for immigration reform. The letter reiterated your support for immigration reform even though it comes in the midst of the latest immigration battle at the borders, as thousands of Central American children and women seek to add to the undocumented population of the United States.

Tease photo

Letter No. 83: Immigration reform now!

Help for the 11 million-plus undocumented migrants in the United States almost always seems to take a backseat to one crisis after another. Just when it seems relief is in sight for hard-working people who desperately need some form of working papers for the years they have paid their dues in this country, something else happens to prevent this from happening.