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The United States of America is built on the labor and expertise of immigrants from around the globe, and their ongoing contributions to innovation make them an extremely important part of the fabric of America.

In this week’s edition of the Congressional Black Caucus Message to America, Representative Yvette Clarke pays homage to the contributions of America’s foreign-born sons and daughters with a primary focus on those who have parentage from the Caribbean.

Prior to Clarke discussing the importance of our nation’s brothers and sisters from the West Indies, the Congresswoman from New York addressed the senseless mass killing that claimed the lives of 49 and wounded more than 50 Americans in Orlando, Florida.

“Our nation was rocked by yet another mass shooting,” Clarke said, offering her thoughts as well as prayers to the victims of the massacre in Orlando.

“As we struggle to come to grips with the litany of tragedies that we continue to experience as a nation, we must all be courageous” to stand against hatred and malice.

It is in the spirit of the Congressional Black Caucus, the “Conscious of the Congress,” that America “cannot and will not allow such tragedies to become common place in our country,” Clarke continued.

Once Congresswoman Clarke addressed the massacre, one of the deadliest in American history, she turned her attention to contributions Caribbean Americans have made that make this nation great.

Clarke, a co-chair of the Congressional Caribbean Caucus, explained that National Caribbean American Heritage Month “reflects the strong enduring everlasting ties between the United States and the community of nations in the Caribbean.

“Trade programs, such as the Caribbean basin initiative, have resulted in strong economic ties between the United States and Caribbean nations amounting to billions of dollars each year in trade,” said Clarke.

Representative Clarke later expressed to viewers America’s “greatness lies in its diversity.” She named several Americans with parentage from the Caribbean who have made remarkable contributions to the United States that have “shaped the America that we know and love.”

This list of distinguished individuals mentioned by Clarke included, former Secretary of State Colin Powell; former Attorney General Eric Holder, and former Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.

Clarke made mention of the Obama Administration’s focus on “promoting social and economic development opportunities” that will insure regional citizens security, strengthening democratic institutions, securing clean energy further, and combating climate change.

Congresswoman Clarke closed her remarks highlighting the Caribbean’s important role in influencing foreign policy, allowing for further engagement in the region “for the betterment of the entire hemisphere.”

For more information about the Congressional Black Caucus, visit


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CBC Message To America: Caribbean Citizens Have “Shaped The America That We Know And Love”  was originally published on