|Brooklyn, NY—Tonight, dozens of immigrants and allies with sleeping bags and blankets began a #NoSleepTilCitizenship sleep-out in front of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s Brooklyn home. The sleep-out comes as immigrant New Yorkers and allies across the country continue to ramp up pressure on Democratic leaders to ignore the parliamentarian’s advisory opinion and include a pathway to citizenship in the budget reconciliation package this year. Senator Schumer holds the power to lead Democrats to deliver on their promise to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants.
On the Brooklyn sidewalk, essential workers, DACA recipients, and TPS holders began the sleep-out with a rally to share their stories and demonstrate the urgent need for Congress to pass a budget reconciliation package that includes a path to citizenship. Immigrants are part of the backbone of the U.S economy, and throughout the pandemic worked in essential industries to keep communities safe and contributed to keep the country running.
For decades, immigrants have relentlessly organized and fought to remain together with their loved ones without fear of deportation, and come out of the shadows to continue to live in the country they consider their home.
This action is part of continuous escalating pressure on Senator Schumer and Democrats in Congress to deliver long-awaited immigration relief to millions across the country. Last week, immigrant New Yorkers and allies held an evening vigil in front of Senator Schumer’s Brooklyn home and held a rally in front of his office, demanding a path to citizenship in the budget reconciliation package.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition, said, “We are bringing the full brunt of our movement to Senate Majority Chuck Schumer's doorstep. Our occupation has one clear demand; Senate Majority Leader Schumer must listen to a majority of American voters and secure legalization for millions of hard-working families who have kept both New York State and the country running throughout this pandemic. We are at a critical moment in the battle for immigrant justice. It's time that our elected leadership understands the stakes.”
Dolores Juarez, Staten Island resident and member of Make the Road New York, said, “I’m sleeping out in front of Senator Schumer’s home to demand he does not forget about our communities, and that he delivers on his promises. Senator Schumer can disregard the parliamentarian’s opinion and move forward to ensure a path to citizenship is included in this budget reconciliation package. My family and I deserve to be able to work and live without fear that we will be separated. We need Senator Schumer’s leadership to hold Democrats together and pass citizenship for millions of undocumented people who have fought for permanent protections for decades.”
Pabitra Khati Benjamin, Executive Director of Adhikaar, said, “For decades immigrant communities, including our Nepali-speaking community, have fought for a pathway to citizenship. Every new election, candidates promise to deliver on citizenship but never prioritize immigrants when in office. Senator Schumer now has an opportunity to deliver on his promise and provide citizenship for millions of people. TPS holders and undocumented communities are the backbone of this country. We will not be compromised in a political game. Senator Schumer: you have the power to create a pathway to citizenship and we need you to deliver now.”
“We can not end this administration’s first year without achieving meaning immigration relief. Doing so will be a broken promise to our communities” said Manuel Castro, executive director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). “This is why immigrant families are out here fighting to ensure our congressional leaders, President Biden, and Vice President Harris meet their promises and finally recognize the sacrifices our families have endured.”
“The immigrant community of Staten Island has been on the front lines, and it is important for Democrats to ensure that they push for a pathway to citizenship, the same way that the immigrant community pushed to ensure that this country could get back up and running during the pandemic. Democrats need to stop with their excuses. This is the time to remind Senator Chuck Schumer to keep his promise, our immigrant community of Staten Island can’t wait anymore,” shared Yesenia Mata, Executive Director of La Colmena.