Source: Jamaica Gleaner
Lester Hinds/Gleaner Writer
Newly re-elected Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke has said that the incoming Biden-Harris administration has already opened discussions with the Caribbean on developmental goals to benefit the region.
Speaking Sunday night on the radio programme Fact Of The Matter on Iriejam Radio in New York, Congresswoman Clarke, who was re-elected with the largest vote percentage of any New York congressional candidate in the November 3 presidential and congressional elections, said dialogue has opened between the incoming administration and the Caribbean region on areas of possible cooperation in areas such as business development, environment and climate issues, including renewal energy.
Clarke said that she is heartened by the 100-day agenda laid out by the Biden-Harris administration, pointing out that not only will the Caribbean diaspora benefit under this programme but the Caribbean region as a whole.
She said that the new administration will re-establish diplomatic protocols of understandings as existed in the past to have a close working relationship with the region.
According to the congresswoman, the new administration will pursue strategies to keep the door open with the region.
“I am looking forward to a constructive engagement between the administration and the Caribbean region,” she said.
Clarke said that within the first 100 days the new administration will roll back the executive orders of the Trump administration dealing with immigration issues, including DACA and the public change provision, which she said would have had devastating effects on the Caribbean community in the diaspora and the region.
She said that as chair of the Caribbean Caucus, issues germane to the Caribbean will be highlighted.
“In the recent election, our community exercised our political power to change the course of this country, and I stand ready to ensure that the necessary benefits will accrue to our community as well as the region as a whole,” she said.
To this end, she said that under the 100-day plan, the Caribbean diaspora will not be left out of the vaccine distribution as well as overall healthcare issues.
“Our community has been devastated by COVID-19. Many in our community is underemployed, unemployed and our small businesses have been adversely affected,” she pointed out.
The congresswoman said she is looking forward to Congress, with the assistance of the Biden-Harris administration, passing another stimulus package under which many in the diaspora who are unable to pay their rent, their mortgages or facing eviction will get some long-term relief as the new administration put plans in place to revive the US economy.
The Biden-Harris administration, she said, will put forward an agenda that will jump-start small businesses in our community.
Addressing immigration issues specifically, Clarke said that she is aware that the USCIS has been slow-walking applications for permanent residency and citizenship, which put the people of the Caribbean diaspora at peril.
She said that is a matter that she will be asking the new administration to address with urgency.