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Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke
Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Oct. 23, 2014: Brooklyn, New York, Caribbean American Congresswoman, Yvette D. Clarke, has consistently insisted she supports immigration reform. She is the daughter of immigrants, her district is home to many immigrants and Clarke used her speech at the recent West Indian American Labor Day Carnival breakfast in Brooklyn, NY to stress her support for the hot button issue and the need for the President to act soon. Yet a letter from several congressmembers in the House Democratic Caucus to President Barack Obama voicing support for executive action on immigration is missing her support.

Clarke’s signature is notably absent from the list of 60 plus Democratic Congressional Representatives who signed on to the letter written by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Joaquin Castro (D-TX), and Joe Garcia (D-FL).

The letter sent earlier this month to President Obama, urged him to address the problems faced by American businesses as he considers executive action to help immigrant families and ensure our borders remain secure.

Polis, Castro and Garcia are co-chairs of the New Democrat Coalition’s Immigration Taskforce and leaders within the House Democratic Caucus on the push for comprehensive immigration reform.

The letter also calls on the President to use his 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.

“We agree that the best and most lasting way to fix our immigration system is for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform. But despite the broad, bipartisan embrace of comprehensive immigration reform, it is unfortunately clear the Speaker will not move a bill forward this year, the letter reads in part.

 As the House has failed to act on a comprehensive solution to overhaul the nation’s immigration system, the members asked the President in the letter to use his “clear, pre-existing legal authority to further help American businesses retain high-skilled immigrant graduates, workers, and entrepreneurs.”

“Since the Republican leadership of the House failed to act, we strongly urge you to take appropriate administrative actions to address the urgent problems we face with our immigration system,” added the letter.

The others signing on to the letter are:

  1. Rep. Ron Kind
  2. Rep. Jim Himes
  3. Rep. Gerald E. Connoly
  4. Rep. Tony Cárdenas
  5. Rep. Xavier Becerra
  6. Rep. Ami Bera
  7. Rep. Earl Blumenauer
  8. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici
  9. Rep. Kathy Castor
  10. Rep. Judy Chu
  11. Rep. David N. Cicilline
  12. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver
  13. Rep. Steve Cohen
  14. Rep. John Conyers, Jr.
  15. Rep. Susan A. Davis
  16. Rep. Suzan K. DelBene
  17. Rep. Ted Deutch
  18. Rep. Lloyd Doggett
  19. Rep. Tammy Duckworth
  20. Rep. Anna G. Eshoo
  21. Rep. Chaka Fattah
  22. Rep. Bill Foster
  23. Rep. Al Green
  24. Rep. Gene Green
  25. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva
  26. Rep. Alcee L. Hastings
  27. Rep. Michael M. Honda
  28. Rep. Steven A. Horsford
  29. Rep. Jared Huffman
  30. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
  31. Rep. Hakeem S. Jeffries
  32. Rep. Derek Kilmer
  33. Rep. John Lewis
  34. Rep. Doris O. Matsui
  35. Rep. James P. McGovern
  36. Rep. Gwen Moore
  37. Rep. James P. Moran
  38. Rep. Richard E. Neal
  39. Rep. Gloria Negrete McLeod
  40. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton
  41. Rep. Scott H. Peters
  42. Rep. Chellie Pingree
  43. Rep. Mark Pocan
  44. Rep. Mike Quigley
  45. Rep. Tim Ryan
  46. Rep. Linda T. Sánchez
  47. Rep. Loretta Sanchez
  48. Rep. Adam B. Schiff
  49. Rep. Bradley S. Schneider
  50. Rep. Kurt Schrader
  51. Rep. Eric Swalwell
  52. Rep. Mark Takano
  53. Rep. Mike Thompson
  54. Rep. Chriss Van Hollen
  55. Rep. Juan Vargas
  56. Rep. Marc A. Veasey
  57. Rep. Filemon Vela
  58. Rep. Maxine Waters
  59. Rep. Henry A. Waxman
  60. Rep. Peter Welch

Congressman Gregory Meeks, whose district is home to many immigrants, also failed to sign the letter as did most of the other members of the New York Congressional delegation except for Brooklyn Congressman Hakeem Jeffries.

Clarke’s office has not responded to a NAN request for comment sent last week on why she did not sign the letter.

Her missing signature comes as she is preparing to be part of the Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference in the Bahamas on November 6th, the same conference that led to Congressman Charles Rangel being forced to step down as Ways and Means chairman in 2000, when the House ethics committee found him guilty of taking two Caribbean trips paid for by corporate sponsors of the conference.

Karl Rodney, the conference founder, was convicted of one count of making a false statement to the House Ethics Committee in seeking approval for a privately funded trip to the “Carib News Foundation Multi-National Business Conference” in Antigua and Barbuda in November 2007.  He was sentenced on July 22, 2011 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to two years probation and 500 hours of community service but avoided jail time. He was also fined $2,500.

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