NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Sen. Chuck Schumer is calling on the State Department to act and get tens of thousands of New Yorkers out of what he calls “passport purgatory.”

Several people who are trying to get their passports joined the senator at a news conference on Sunday morning.

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CBS2 has been reporting on the huge backlog at the State Department. Countless travelers with flights booked say they have received no response on the status of their new passport applications and renewals.

“We were really looking forward to going. It’s the trip of a lifetime for them. I’m just hoping that after a tough year for everyone, we can do this,” frustrated traveler Cindy Sundersingh said.

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“My office has been deluged with people who have been planning their vacation, who have reservations, who have tickets, and have waited weeks and even months to get passports and visas. So today, we are calling on the State Department to put some more emergency personnel in those two areas,” Schumer said.

The State Department says it offers a limited number of in-person appointments for people traveling within three days.

The agency has said it plans to increase staffing.

CBSNewYork Team