Letter No. 30: Immigration reform now! (36101)

Dear Mr. President,

on May Day (May 1), Luis Moreno, a 29-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico, pushed aside fear and took to the streets with thousands of other protestors in a call for immigration reform.

As you were getting ready for your own trip to Mexico to push the same issue, Moreno of Chicago was quoted by the New York Times as succinctly saying: “I think it is time that we come out of the shadows and support what we believe in.”

While more and more undocumented migrants–especially Latinos–are slaying fear and standing up for what they need, it is my fervent wish that you will also stand up for what you believe in–comprehensive immigration reform for all, not some.

It is an outrage that the so-called “Gang of Eight”–Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Richard Durbin, D-Ill.; Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Robert Menendez, D-N.J.; Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz.–would consider leaving thousands of undocumented migrants out of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, S. 744, simply because they came here after December 2011.

We cannot come this far only to leave another pocket of undocumented migrants living in this country. Especially because the persons crafting S. 744 found the time in this measure to extend visa eligibility to nationals of Ireland (E-3 visa) and Korea (E-5 visa) and to propose a new E-3 visa for Irish nationals who have no degrees.

Why? I thought the whole point of this bill was to tighten the borders and, most of all, put an end to those living below the radar in this country, not bring in more people.

If none of the economic or social arguments will fly, please push the security aspect as in the post-9/11 and now post-Boston bombing era; we need all the information we can on the people living in this country. Leaving thousands undocumented could severely hamper the work of law enforcement agencies.

Perhaps the words of Tomas Rodriguez, 41, a construction worker who has lived in Tucson for two decades without immigration papers, will ring through to you and other lawmakers as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act goes up for debate in the Senate this month.

“I want to be a citizen,” the Times quoted Rodriguez as saying. “This is now my country. I’ve spent 20 years building for Americans.” And might I add–for Rodriguez, Moreno and 11 million others–building America!

Let’s make this a historic immigration measure for all, not some and definitely not one; that is elitist in nature and pushed only by corporate agendas.


Felicia Persaud

The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.