New York, Jul 23 (EFE).- As many as 1,000 people marching behind a banner reading “Immigrants Are Essential” shut down New York City’s Manhattan Bridge on Friday to dramatize demands for immigration reform in the United States.
The crowd gathered at noon in Columbus Park and then set out on a procession of pedestrians as well as cabs driven by members of the Taxi Workers Alliance.
Advocates want the infrastructure bill now taking shape in Congress to include a path to US citizenship for 5 million undocumented immigrants who qualify as what have known during the Covid-19 pandemic as essential workers.
“Today, immigrant essential workers marched with a clear message: the recovery of our country must include long-awaited immigration relief,” Jose Lopez, co-executive director of Make the Road New York, said.
“Our neighbors and loved ones have been waiting for decades for a path to citizenship that they deserve. Throughout the pandemic immigrant essential workers put their life on the line to keep our communities safe,” he said.
Immigrants were encouraged last week when congressional Democrats said that a path to citizenship would be part of the wide-ranging infrastructure legislature sought by President Joe Biden.
A few days later, however, a US federal judge ordered the suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Launched in 2012 by then-President Barack Obama, DACA has protected more than 700,000 undocumented young people from deportation.
“Last week’s ruling on DACA makes it crystal clear that Washington can’t keep playing politics with the lives of immigrant New Yorkers and the hundreds of thousands like them across the country,” New York Immigration Coalition head Murad Awawdeh said Friday. EFE hc/dr