Ralliers push for changes to NY state immigration and education systems

February 05, 2019 06:48 PM

ALBANY - A group is pushing for changes to immigration and education systems in New York. They are calling their agenda, "#HereToStay."

About 150 immigrants and children of immigrants rallied on the Million Dollar Staircase on Tuesday. They brought protest signs, big banners and loud chants – mostly in Spanish, that were echoing off the walls.

The ralliers were loud, energetic and determined to be heard. They are passionate people with a purpose.

These people are advocating for many things. Among them, they want driver's licenses for all immigrants – documented or not, universal healthcare, public financing of elections, affordable housing and an end to the "school to prison" pipeline.

One of their working mottos is: "If not now, when?"

"I really believe that as New Yorkers – especially because we're such a diverse state, we can do a better job of meeting our neighbors – and you will see that despite our differences, we're actually more alike than not. We all deserve to live a life of dignity – and if we're hardworking and we're contributing to our economy and making sure that our state is great, then the state has a responsibility to protect us and afford us the right and equity in every single aspect of our lives," said Democratic Senator Jessica Ramos of Queens.

Ramos, a freshman lawmaker, says she believes Gov. Cuomo is under a lot of pressure to enact this legislation. She also realizes that none of this would have been possible if not for the "blue wave" that swept Democrats into control in both the state Assembly and Senate.

NewsChannel 13 also spoke with Republican Assem. Chris Tague of Schoharie and Democratic Assem. John McDonald of Cohoes. Play the video for reaction from both of them.


Dan Levy & WNYT Staff

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