NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Lawmakers are calling for a push of a new “dreamers” act Wednesday.
The bill would provide a pathway to citizenship for so-called “dreamers,” those brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
Web Extra: De Blasio Speaks About New ‘Dreamers’ Act
Quoting former president Ronald Reagan, Pelosi made the case for the proposed bill.
“Thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity we are a nation forever young,” she said. “If we ever close the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would be lost.”
De Blasio cited his own grandparents when discussing immigration.
“They would not have been acceptable in the eyes of our president. You know the president likes to talk about quote-unquote chain migration as a derogatory term: People following their families to the United States. This couple followed family members, came here. And they would not have met the president’s definition of people who could contribute. They did not speak English. They did not have advanced degrees. They didn’t have jobs worked out in advance. They came here with love for their family, with heart, with soul, with passion, with energy, with a desire to work hard and I am so proud to say that they were my grandparents,” de Blasio said. “I have the tremendous honor of being here as your mayor because of their hard work, their sacrifice, the risk they took.”
De Blasio said the police in New York do not ask for someone’s immigration status.
“There’s a blunt reality that we have to face in this country. We have to either accept that immigration has made us strong across generations and generations regardless of race or country of origin or we’re going to live in a hypocrisy, an unacceptable hypocrisy from my point of view, where we say that yesterday’s immigrants were worthy but today’s were not somehow,” he added.
De Blasio said New York has the strongest economy its ever had, the lowest crime since the 1950s and the most immigrants it has had in a century.
The legislation – known as HR6 – would allow people who came to the U.S. under the age of 17 and have been in the country nonstop to stay.
The law would also apply to those in the same situation who have been employed most of the time, served in the military or are working toward a college degree.
People in those groups would be able to apply for legal permanent residency and then pursue a path to citizenship.