Dozens of letters demanding a pathway for citizenship for the nation’s millions of immigrants here illegally were delivered to the Melville office of Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer Thursday.
The delivery followed a rally to bring attention to the issue organized by Make the Road New York, a community-based organization with offices in Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Westchester.
The group is calling on Congress to recognize the contributions of immigrants in the country illegally and give them a path to citizenship through federal legislation.
Attendees delivered their plea in English and Spanish with some holding signs while others held a banner that said, "Here to Stay."
In March, the House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act, which would provide such a pathway for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients and Temporary Protected status holders.
Suffolk County organizer for Make the Road New York Rodman Serrano told those who gathered that now was the time for Schumer to get more legislation passed with Democrats controlling the presidency and Congress.
"We need him to do more on providing a pathway to citizenship for all immigrants," Serrano said. "He can’t take no for an answer in the efforts to fixing our immigration system he must deliver citizenship for all now."
Schumer spokesperson Angelo Roefaro, said staffers personally accepted the letters.
"Sen. Schumer has a long supported a path to citizenship for immigrants, including Dreamers, TPS holders and essential workers, and is pursuing every avenue to advance that effort," Roefaro said.
Serrano said immigrants have been on the front lines of keeping the country going during the pandemic.
"Immigrants have kept the economy of this country functional despite the health realities," he said. "Community members risked their lives on a daily basis regardless of their immigration status."
Serrano translated for Bay Shore resident Silvia Garcia, who said she was from a mixed status family who worked as a factory worker throughout the pandemic.
"It is now time Congress honors and values our work and our sacrifices and that they recognize the contributions that we make and … protect us from deportation and from the separation of our families," Serrano translated.