About 2,000 city immigrants and activists unhappy with the pace of immigration reform are headed to the nation’s capital to protest.
Members of "Make The Road New York," a not-for-profit aimed at helping low-income minorities and immigrants across the city, painted banners and assembled drums in Bushwick, Brooklyn in preparation for the "March for America" Rally in Washington, D.C. on Sunday.
About 2,000 immigrants from Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island planned to travel in 42 buses to attend the protest and join tens of thousands of immigrants and supporters from around the country.
Activists said they are tired of waiting for the reform they were promised by President Barack Obama.
"Obama did say in his campaign that he is focusing on immigration reform. He hasn’t done anything about it, you know? This is really coming out of his State of the Union, where he hardly mentioned immigration reform. So there’s a real groundswell to push and say, ‘This is the time,’" said organizer Jesse Goldman.
"Hispanic people, over 65 percent voted for him, they put him in office and we’re just going to ask him to do what he promised," said immigration reform supporter Victor Rosario.
"We’re going to present ourselves and say, ‘We’re here, don’t forget us.’ And we’re going to keep pushing for this," said immigration reform supporter Gladys Puglia.
Many immigrants said their top objective is a clear path to citizenship.
Laura Ordonez, a Mexican immigrant, said she has family back home with whom she would love to reunite, but she is prevented by citizenship laws.
"It’s important for me, for everybody, to have more opportunities, more working and more stability," said Ordonez.
Organizers planned to use the long bus ride to D.C. to encourage immigrants to participate in the 2010 Census and to talk about what else can be done to further immigrants’ rights.
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