NYC essential workers call for immigration reform

Local News

NEW YORK — Immigrants and essential workers stopped traffic marching together Friday on the Manhattan Bridge.

The protest, which went from lower Manhattan to downtown Brooklyn, was part of a national day of action and a call for Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for people living in the country without legal status.

“We’re out here to make sure people hear us, that they see us,” said Murad Awawdeh, the Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris met with immigrant rights leaders in the White House.

She pledged the Biden administration will be tireless in pushing to change the nation’s immigration policies.

“This is about what is morally right,” said Vice President Harris.

Right now, Congressional Democrats are debating a multi-trillion dollar spending package. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has expressed support for including a pathway to citizenship in the legislation, including a permanent solution for so-called “dreamers” in the DACA program, people in the country under temporary protected status and essential workers.

{YATZIRI TOVAR / Make the Road NY}

“In my case, my father is an essential worker, he’s a delivery man,” said Yatziri Tovar of Make The Road NY. “We’re talking about him being able to feel more safe, to stay here with his children, his future grandchildren.”

Recent college graduate Coleth Farfan came to the United States as a child and she dreams of all the opportunities that come with citizenship.

“Throughout college, I was not able to do paid internships that would have benefited me to get a job right out of college,” Farfan said.

While the White House supports overhauling our nation’s immigration system, Senate Republicans have pushed back, who called including immigration reform in the spending package the dumbest idea in the history of the Senate. But advocates who took the streets Friday say immigration is an issue that can no longer be ignored.

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