Queens immigration advocates joined federal and state lawmakers in front of Flushing Town Hall last week to rally for comprehensive immigration reform.
“Comprehensive immigration reform is good for our economy and is the right thing to do to help those who play by the rules but risk being deported through no fault of their own,” U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-Melville) said. “The votes are there to pass the bill, but Speaker Boehner must allow us to vote on it.”
The U.S. Senate passed a bill last year that would provide undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship, but House Speaker John Boehner (R-0hio) never brought the legislation to the floor for a vote.
Israel announced 170 House Democrats have signed a petition, demanding Boehner allow a vote.
“We cannot wait another day, another year to fix our broken immigration system. The time is now,” said SJ Jung, a Flushing business owner and president of the MinKwon Center for Community Action, who participated in a eight-day fast in Washington, D.C., last year to raise awareness of the issue.
State lawmakers joined Israel to voice their support of federal immigration reform and to renew their push to get the state Dream Act passed.
The state Dream Act was voted down in the state Senate last month.
“Immigrants are the very embodiment of the American Dream. They came to this country in search of better jobs, better schools and a better future,” state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) said. “It is our responsibility as legislators to make sure that our laws give them a fair and equal chance to make that dream a reality.”
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) was scheduled to attend the press conference to voice her support, but could not because of a death in her family.
Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@
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