Fri | Sep 22, 2023

Biden wants Congress to work on immigration reform as US observes Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Published:Saturday | June 3, 2023 | 1:33 PM
President Joe Biden speaks about student loan debt forgiveness in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Wednesday, August 24, 2022, in Washington. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona listens at right. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

United States President Joe Biden has called for Congress to work on reforms to fix the country's immigration system.

Biden says he will not quit pressing Congress to act as he believes in creating opportunities for members of the society, including those with Caribbean heritage.

He made the call in his proclamation for National Caribbean-American Heritage Month, which is observed in June.

“What we really need is for the Congress to finally pass comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, farm and essential workers, and temporary status holders, many of whom are from the Caribbean," he said.

"During Caribbean-American Heritage Month, we celebrate the achievements and dreams of the millions of people of Caribbean origin now living in the United States, while honouring the shared history of joy and perseverance that has united and enriched life across our region for centuries," he added.

Biden said that since America's founding, Caribbean Americans — from Alexander Hamilton, who was born in Nevis, to Colin Powell, the son of Jamaican immigrants — have contributed to the United States in the most profound ways.

"Today, path breakers like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor continue advancing our work toward a more perfect union. I am especially proud of the extraordinary leaders of Caribbean heritage now serving in my administration — from Vice-President Kamala Harris to Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. And I take equal pride in the generations of Caribbean-Americans who literally built this country — bringing tremendous hope and energy to bear as small business owners, teachers, healthcare workers, military service members, union organisers, community leaders, and so much more," he said.

Meanwhile, also for the first time, the New York State legislature will recognise June as National Caribbean-American Heritage Month.

A resolution to this effect was passed in the legislature on Thursday after lobbying by Jamaica's Consul General to New York, Alsion Wilson, and others.

- Lester Hinds

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