PARK SLOPE, Brooklyn — Immigrants and supporting organizations have been protesting outside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Brooklyn apartment building for much of this week.
Patrick Young, the downstate advocacy director for New York Immigration Coalition, says they’re calling on the senator to create a pathway to citizenship.
“We know that he understands our issue and he knows how important immigrants are to New York State and New York City, but we want to make sure that he uses his influence in Washington,” Young said.
The group has been camped outside the Park Slope building since Tuesday with some even sleeping outside overnight. Schumer is in D.C. for the week.
On Thursday, they wrote postcards to him explaining their personal situations. The cards will be mailed to his office.
Delmy Garcia is a temporary protected status holder and came to the United States from El Salvador. She was granted the status because of an earthquake in her home country in 2001. She now works as a telemetry technician at Flushing Hospital.
“Some people say, ‘Oh no, immigrants, they’re on welfare.’” Garcia said. “Not us. We pay taxes and we contribute a lot to the community, to the economy.”
The protestors also painted their messages on a banner which will be sent to Schumer as well. One message written in Arabic reads in English, “We are born equal and free and we deserve dignity and justice.”
Ekram Alrowmeim is from Yemen and explains what the message means to her.
“As an immigrant, as a woman of color, I’m just like any other person who’s white and we all deserve dignity in this country and we’re all equal,” Alrowmeim said.
The group believes a citizenship pathway is possible through the budget reconciliation process which means they have only a few weeks, but with a democrat-controlled Congress, they hope it gets done now.