NEW YORK, NY – Caribbean-born, New York-based media entrepreneur and columnist, Felicia J. Persaud, was among tens of thousands in the United States joining the march nationally for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, (CIR), on Saturday, October 5, 2013.
The Hard Beat Communications executive, along with Valence Williams and Menes De Griot of Guyana, were the lone Caribbean nationals joining the New York Immigration Coalition organized rally in Brooklyn, NY, as they put the spotlight on the voiceless Caribbeans who are undocumented and desperate for immigration reform yet remain in the shadows.
Carrying a sign that read simply: “Caribbeans Too Need Immigration Reform,” Persaud, founder of CaribPR Wire, News Americas Now and Invest Caribbean Now, who has penned her 46th open letter to President Obama in her weekly column in the New York Amsterdam News calling for immigration reform now, got the thumbs up from Chirlane McCray, the wife of New York City mayoral front-runner, Bill de Blasio, whose roots extend to the Caribbean, as she proudly carried her sign around Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn, NY.
Then along with De Griot on the drum and Williams on the cowbells, Persaud marched over the Brooklyn Bridge Saturday afternoon along with thousands of mainly Latino advocates to send a message to President Obama and the U.S. Congress that passage of comprehensive reform reform was an issue just as important as the debt ceiling and the re-opening of the government.
“The fact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service and consuls worldwide are largely open because of immigrants fees and the government shutdown has not affected them tells why the Congress needs to pass CIR now,” Persaud said.
Though they were only three, the small Caribbean contingent stole the show with their rhythm and sent a clear message that the Caribbean was in the house and also needed immigration reform.
“It’s beyond incomprehensible that some three million Caribbean people can party each year down Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, New York but only three of us can show up to make our voices heard for something that is important to thousands in our community,” said Persaud.
The march by tens of thousands nationally took place on the 100th day anniversary since the passage of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act in the Senate. The Republican controlled House has refused to bring the measure to a vote, insisting they will address the hot button issue through smaller bills only but has yet to bring any bills to the House floor.
The rally was held under the theme, “National Day of Immigrant Dignity and Respect,” and came just days after House Democrats introduced their own immigration bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, calling too for immigration reform and a path to citizenship for 11 plus million undocumented immigrants in the United States.