JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens — No longer wanting to just wait and see, New Yorkers — some undocumented — left for Washington D.C. Thursday morning.
Their plan was to rally and lobby lawmakers. They want a clean Dream Act.
The organization, Make the Road New York, organized dozens of people from Queens, Staten Island and Long Island for the D.C. trip.
Some involved are the Dreamers, the young men and women who came to the United States as children, and they want to be able to stay here legally.
"Folks are nervous but also excited," organizer Mateo Guerrero said early Thursday before getting on a bus in Jackson Heights. "But now the pressure is on."
DACA protections expire in March. For the Dreamers, the hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who came here as children, their fate may be sealed within days.
The clock is ticking in Washington D.C. as Republican and Democratic lawmakers are negotiating a spending bill. It's needed to keep the federal government running after Friday night.
But Democrats, who want a clean Dream Act, are threatening to block a deal.
President Trump said he needs strong border security, including a wall, if the DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, recipients get to stay in the United States.
So now immigration and a possible government shutdown are intertwined.
According to Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell, "I am looking for something that President Trump supports and he has not yet indicated what measure he is willing to sign."
Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, who represents the Bronx and Queens, said Wednesday, "Our Republican colleagues have been complicit in the lack of leadership that's been demonstrated in the White House."