Dear Mr. President,
When the history of your tenure is written after you exit the White House in 2016, the recurring theme will undoubtedly be your failure to truly lead and your consistency in reneging on your words and promises, much like a poor leader does.
Saturday, Sept. 7, you broke another promise to the millions of immigrants who were looking for you to lead on immigration in the wake of Republicans’ dysfunction, bigotry and obstruction.
So why did we expect things to be different now that summer is over and every immigrant activist was looking forward to you finally delivering on the long overdue promised executive action on immigration relief? Instead of announcing the end-of-summer executive action on immigration respite you promised, which would have helped millions, you announced that this will have to wait until after the November congressional elections.
To many, it’s no surprise you are bowing to someone or the other again. But this time, not only did you give Republicans the reprieve they needed, but it was claimed you bowed to Democrats in your own party.
Even though you have denied the charge that the delay was meant to protect Democratic candidates worried that your actions would hurt their prospects in tough Senate races, you have still admitted that politics played a role in this latest inaction. Now you claim that a partisan fight in July over how to address an influx of unaccompanied minors at the border had created the impression that there was an immigration crisis and thus a volatile climate for taking the measures you had promised to take.
How are the two even related? We are talking about immigrants within the borders, not outside. What your actions should do is simply shut the borders down and send back anyone who tries to cross illegally. That has nothing to do with the undocumented migrants living in the U.S. for years and who can contribute to the coffers of this country in fees and taxes.
This is the absolute worst decision you have made at this point of your career, especially since your consistent delay, beginning with when Democrats controlled the House soon after your election in 2008, has caused the can to be kicked continually down the road on immigration reform.
Mr. President, like Eddie Carmona, campaign manager for the PICO immigration reform group, noted, it has become “clear that undocumented immigrants and Latinos are simply viewed as political pawns” by you and the Democrats.
Advocacy group America’s Voice executive director, Frank Sharry, accurately summed up your latest decision, noting, “We advocates didn’t make the reform promise; we just made the mistake of believing it.”
Mr. President, it’s time to quit quavering and say what you mean and mean what you say. Enough with the speeches and BS pat on the backs for immigrants and the Black community. After all, you waver not when it comes to using Air Force One for your pleasure trips, including the bachelor party and wedding of your chef. So why are immigrants, a major voting bloc for the party of Democrats and who helped you get elected and re-elected, your political football?
Mr. President, it’s time to lead instead of being led.
The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.