Yvette D. Clarke, the Caribbean American Congresswoman, has commended President Barack Obama for making use of his Tuesday night State of the Union address to address the need for comprehensive immigration reform, in which he urged the US Congress to take action and enable an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States to gain legal status and a path to citizenship.
“A policy of comprehensive immigration reform will also support our economy by preventing the exploitation of workers who lack legal status, despite in some instances living in the United States for almost their entire lives,” Clarke, who represents Brooklyn’s 9th Congressional District and is herself the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica, says. “With legal status and an opportunity for citizenship, these workers will finally have the ability to benefit from the rights guaranteed to American laborers and thus become full participants in our civil society.”
Clarke had written to the President a second time ahead of his State of the Union address in order to urge him to put an end to the deportation of Caribbean and other immigrants – an appeal made together with Arizona Congressman Raul M. Grijalva.
Clarke told the Caribbean Media Corporation that the continuing deportation of immigrants from the Caribbean who do not have legal status in the United States has caused the separation of many families and called for the policy to be scrapped, noting that it jeopardized the welfare of the very people that might benefit from immigration reform.