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Know Your Rights
Source: Newsday
Subject: Immigration
Type: Media Coverage

Immigrants plan to set goals at Sunday event in Brentwood

Hundreds of New York immigrant advocates plan to unveil their agenda Sunday in Brentwood and demonstrate for relief from deportations for those in the United States illegally.

As many as 600 members of Make the Road New York — a nonprofit with four advocacy centers in the metropolitan area, including one in Brentwood — are expected to attend a membership assembly at Brentwood High School. Group leaders will discuss their priorities for the following year, co-director Javier Valdés said.

The organization, which has been one of the most prominent groups for immigration advocacy in the region, will focus on pressing the state’s elected officials for a halt to immigrant detentions without judicial warrants. Advocates successfully lobbied Suffolk County and New York City to enact that change.

The group’s priority list also includes lobbying for passage of a New York “Dream Act” to offer state-funded tuition aid to young immigrants who are in the country illegally and for strengthening of housing laws to protect low-income renters, Valdés said.

The immigrants known as “Dreamers” are young people brought illegally as minors to the United States and currently exempt from deportation but lacking permanent residency status. The name comes from an acronym for The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, versions of which have been considered by Congress but have not passed.

“We have had some successes, and we want to highlight that the Latino community is growing and will be pivotal on a lot of issues we care about at the county, state and federal levels,” Valdés said.

Nationally, the group will step up calls for President Barack Obama to provide administrative relief by exempting more immigrants from deportation until wider reforms are adopted. That issue will be the focus of Sunday’s march, starting at 4:30 p.m. from Marvin Road and Stein Drive, behind the high school, ending about a mile away at Suffolk and Jefferson avenues.

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