For the first time, immigrants and advocates decided to take a creative approach to garnering Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s attention—they slept outside of his Brooklyn home at 9 Prospect Place. The effort was to put pressure on Democratic leaders on a pathway for immigrants to gain citizenship by including funding within the budget reconciliation package this year.
“Today we are going to sleep on the street. We only have sleeping bags on the sidewalks to let him know we are here. We are asking for help and support. We want him to know we are here and want actions now,” Manuel Farfan said, a young leader from Make the Road New York, adding that the number of people sleeping outside does not compare to millions who live in fear of deportation.
“We are here today to put pressure on Senator Schumer in order to create a path for citizenship to give us his support and vote. We’ve been having a lot of struggles during the pandemic. I’m here to represent my family, all of the immigrants, and all of the essential workers that have struggled during the pandemic. We’ve been fighting for decades, a lot of protest pushing this effort,” Farfan said.
Hosted by Make the Road New York, New York Immigration Coalition, Center for Popular Democracy, New York Communities for Change, Carroll Gardens Association, Faith in New York, and other advocates, they spent the entire night fighting for permanent protection without the fear of deportation. Advocates believe that since Senator Schumer both holds the power to lead democrats and has made a promise to create a citizenship pathway for undocumented immigrants, they developed #NoSleepTilCitizenship.
Sleeping bags and mats were carefully placed along Prospect Park adjacent to Schumer’s home, where demonstrators ate together, discussed how immigrants are the backbone of the United States economy in both Spanish and English, as well as the catastrophic impact the pandemic had on them while some struggled to maintain work and others worked throughout quarantine within essential industries.
This was not the first effort by protesters. They have also held an evening vigil outside of Schumer’s home as well as a rally in front of his office, each time demanding that a path to citizenship be included within the budget reconciliation package.
amNewYork Metro reached out to Senator Schumer’s office for comment.