By Felicia Persaud
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 6, 2012: As America marked its 236th birthday on July 4th, it was only fitting that 25 active immigrant members of the military should be sworn in as new citizens of the United States and the focus should be again put on immigration by President Obama.
In a naturalization ceremony in the East Room of the White House, the President renewed the call for comprehensive immigration reform and for a DREAM Act.
His message must be lauded since without immigrants, including one of America’s greatest, Alexander Hamilton, America’s history would be totally different.
The President, in full campaign mode and not skipping a note, proclaimed that “America’s success demands comprehensive immigration reform” and that a “Dream Act” legislation that would give young undocumented immigrants a path toward permanent residency, is still necessary.
“For just as we remain a nation of laws, we have to remain a nation of immigrants,” said Obama. “That’s why as another step forward we’re lifting the shadow of deportation…from deserving young people who were brought to this country as children. That’s why we still need a Dream Act to keep talented young people who want to contribute to our society and serve our country.”
With four plus months before the November general election, it was undoubtedly a political move as well but whatever keeps the issue on the front burner in this election is all right with me.
It was pushed on the back burner for far too long while tens of thousands were deported and millions forced to stay in the shadows as the immigrant votes were taken for granted.
Now it’s really time to get back to the issue of crafting a comprehensive bipartisan bill, much like the late Ted Kennedy and John McCain had managed to achieve under President Bush.
The bill is already in the Congressional archives. All it needs is to be dusted off and reintroduced by a few elected lawmakers brave enough to face reality – that without immigrant labor in this country the wheels of the farms, the super markets, restaurants, fish markets, et al, will stop churning and we will be paying much, much more for our food.
Everyone with any real sense gets this.
Democrats need to quit pussyfooting around the issue and take the lead, further putting the Republicans into a corner as President Obama did when he changed the policy that stops deportation of young people who came to the US as children and allowed them to get a temporary work permit.
Where are the New York Democrats and are they up to this challenge? After all, Mayor Bloomberg is leading the charge to show the need for reform so why aren’t the state’s congressional lawmakers backing him up by boldly stepping up and introducing sometime now and November 6th.
That would really send Republicans and Mitt Romney running scared and seal the immigrant votes for good.
The writer is founder of NewsAmericasNow, CaribPR Wire and Hard Beat Communications.