Spreading the word about immigration reform

March 5, 2013 Denise Romano
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Community groups from across the city rallied together in Bay Ridge on Thursday, February 28 to spread the word about immigration reform.

The afternoon was a joint effort between the Arab American Association of New York, Make the Road New York and El Centro delInmigrante. Members of these organizations worked the area of Fourth Avenue and 86th Street, registering voters and building support for immigration reform, which would provide 11 million undocumented immigrants with a path to citizenship.

“We just spent two hours on the streets of Bay Ridge [which is a] diverse community, registering voters,” said Daniel Coates, the lead organizer of Make the Road New York. “Now, we have to take this support and show our elected officials how much support there is for immigration reform.”

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Linda Sarsour, director of the Arab American Association of New York, said that she collected “hundreds of postcards from people from all walks of life” showing their support for the reform.

“We have to make sure that we all come together to make sure that everyone is aware of what’s happening,” said Gonzalo Mercado, executive director of El Centro del Inmigrante.

Mercado said that reform would benefit the city as a whole. “All the workers — low wage, domestic and day laborers — are the ones that make this city run every day,” he said.

“We are here asking our legislators to pass immigration reform,” said Jose R., who is an undocumented immigrant. “We want to contribute to this country and pay our taxes.”

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