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By Felicia Persaud- It’s almost Christmas, and for those immigrants who were hoping for the long overdue gift of immigration reform in their stocking this holy holiday, they were again sorely disappointed. As usual!
All they will get this Christmas from the Democratically controlled U.S. Senate and House, as well as the Biden administration, is a huge lump of coal. Yes, a big black rock, worth nothing but heartache, headache and stress.
They are being punished again this year, not because they were bad, but because the U.S. Congress is the Grinch, despite who controls it. To them, immigrants, especially the brown and Black ones, are always very, very bad. So they deserve nothing but worthless coal. In fact, they really wish that coal will make these immigrants vanish, but much to their dismay, they do not.
This year, the coal came early—a pre-Christmas “gift” in fact. According to CBS News, “Negotiations in the Senate to forge a bipartisan compromise on U.S. immigration and border policy failed to gain enough traction to pass before the end of this session of Congress.”
According to CBS, quoting three other lawmakers and aides familiar with the deal, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a Democrat turned sudden independent, and GOP Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina’s potential deal that would have included the legalization of a subset of the millions of unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S., as well as certain measures aimed at reducing illegal crossings along the U.S.-Mexico border, has failed to get the necessary 60 votes in the evenly divided Senate.
So much for the Christmas miracle many Dreamers dreamt about. How many times have we been here before? Let me answer my own question. Since the 1990s there has been no immigration reform in the United States. This even though immigration has surpassed crisis proportions and there is an urgent need to provide real solutions.
Instead, what we have gotten from both sides is political football—more dramatic than any World Cup match ever will be; bigoted and xenophobic speeches; or false promises and crazy so-called solutions like shipping immigrants to other cities by bus and planes and erecting a container wall.
Is this madness or what?
Given the fact that Republican lawmakers will take control of the House in January and have vowed not to grant “amnesty” to any group of unauthorized immigrants, it seems like this was a last shot. The last shot Democrats had to fulfill a promise they have made since Barack Obama won the White House. And again, it all went to hell.
So, what now? Instead of lawmakers doing what they are paid to do—making laws to solve problems—we have passed the football to the courts.
A federal appeals court has declined to delay the cancellation of pandemic-era border restrictions that are set to end on Dec. 21, dismissing a request by Republican state officials who had warned that the termination of the Trump policy, known as Title 42, will fuel a greater increase in migrant arrivals along the U.S. southern border.
Unless the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruling is superseded by a Supreme Court order, the appeals court’s decision will pave the way for the termination of the Title 42 expulsion policy.
This is sure to create an even greater influx of immigrants that could stress the already strained systems of states like New York City, where many will likely be transported.
Additionally, a federal judge in Texas who has previously found DACA to be illegal, is set to rule on the program’s legality once again next year. That puts Dreamers in a state of worry and limbo this holiday as their future is now dependent on the whims of the court.
In all of this, the nation’s appointed immigration czar and Veep, Kamala Harris, remains woefully silent. Where in the world is Kamala anyway? According to the Daily Post of Nigeria, Harris has announced plans to work with Congress to fund an additional government investment of more than $100 million in the Young African Leaders Initiative.
But what about the immigrants you were appointed to help Kamala? “Who cares? Let them take coal!”
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
PS: Be sure not to send me any coal for Christmas. I much prefer CHANEL N°5. This immigrant has been very, very good all year long. (Amsterdam News)