Hundreds of protesters** rallied in Brooklyn Sunday for a bill that would create a path to citizenship for young illegal immigrants who go to college or join the military.
Supporters of the DREAM Act, which would apply to immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, hope it reaches a vote in Congress in the next few weeks before Republican gains in Congress effectively kill its chances.
"The window of opportunity is closing, but we will not rest until we get it done," Rep. Nydia Velasquez (D-Brooklyn) said at the rally at a Bushwick church.
Velasquez met with President Obama last week to push for the bill. "The least we can do is to pass the DREAM Act as a down payment for comprehensive immigration reform," she said.
Undocumented immigrants are barred from joining the military, and usually don’t qualify for college financial aid.
"I’ve lived all my life here," said Kendy Rodriguez, 15, a high school sophomore from Queens whose family brought her here from Mexico when she was 3. "I have no say in how I got here. … I haven’t done anything wrong."
**Including Make the Road New York (MRNY) Youth Power Project.