Dear Mr. President,
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. But I really hope you will take the advice of Rep. Jared Polis, (D-Colo.), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and Joe Garcia (D-Fla.) and the 60 other Democratic representatives who sent you a letter recently.
Your fellow Democrats are right to urge you to address the problems faced by American businesses as you consider executive action on the immigration front to help immigrant families and ensure our borders remain secure. They, like many advocates, also urge you to use your pre-existing, legal authority to foster the ability of high-skilled immigrants, workers and entrepreneurs to contribute to our economy and to improve the immigration system to benefit our country’s innovative capacity and economic growth.
As the lawmakers wrote, “We strongly urge you to use your clear, pre-existing authority to pursue actions that continue to ensure our borders are secure and enforce U.S. immigration laws; specifically prioritizing our resources to remove criminals and those who pose a public safety or national security risk. Policies that split families, disrupt communities and harm our economy are out of line with our values as a nation.
“We urge you to provide relief from detention and deportation, where appropriate, to undocumented immigrants who pose no risk to public safety or national security.”
They are right to insist that the United States should also be fostering the ability of high-skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs to contribute to our economy and streamlining the green card process for the benefit of our country’s innovative capacity and economic prowess.
Congratulations to Reps. Garcia, Polis, Castro, Ron Kind, Jim Himes, Gerald E. Connolly, Tony Cardenas, Xavier Becerra, Ami Bera, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Kathy Castor, Judy Chu, David N. Cicilline, Emanuel Cleaver, Steve Cohen, John Conyers Jr., Susan A. Davis, Suzan K. DelBene, Ted Deutch, Lloyd Doggett, Tammy Duckworth, Anna G. Eshoo, Chaka Fattah, Bill Foster, Al Green, Gene Green, Raul M. Grijalva, Alcee L. Hastings, Michael M. Honda, Steven A. Horsford, Jared Huffman, Sheila Jackson Lee, Derek Kilmer, John Lewis, Doris O. Matsui, James P. McGovern, Gwen Moore, James P. Moran, Richard E. Neal, Gloria Negrete McLeod, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Scott H. Peters, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Mike Quigley, Tim Ryan, Linda T. Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Adam B. Schiff, Bradley S. Schneider, Kurt Schrader, Eric Swalwell, Mark Takano, Mike Thompson, Chris Van Hollen, Juan Vargas, Marc A. Veasey, Filemon Vela, Maxine Waters, Henry A. Waxman, Peter Welch and Hakeem S. Jeffries of New York.
It’s sad that other New York congressional representatives’ signatures are missing from this very important letter, including Caribbean-American Yvette D. Clarke, Gregory Meeks and Charles Rangel, who have all insisted they support immigration reform but somehow did not get around to supporting this call.
Mr. President, we hope you will heed the call of the brave 63 and give American businesses and the American economy the boost they need by signing an executive order sooner rather than later.
The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.