NEW YORK (WABC) — President Obama’s focus was on immigration reform Thursday. He’s pushing Congress to pass sweeping legislation by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, there were new efforts at the local level to help undocumented immigrants in New York City.
The President launched a renewed effort at immigration reform.
There are 11 to 12 million immigrants who came to this country illegally.
About a half-million live in New York City.
President Obama admitted a second attempt in Washington won’t be easy.
“Obviously, just because something is smart and fair and good for the economy and fiscally responsible, supported by business and labor and the evangelical community, and many Democrats and many Republicans doesn’t mean that will actually get done,” President Obama said.
Wednesday, the frontrunner to be the next mayor made it clear, what Washington won’t do, he’ll try to do on his own in New York.
“Immigration made us the best and strongest city on earth,” said Bill de Blasio, the Democratic Candidate for Mayor of New York City.
One of de Blasio’s ideas is to push for a driver’s license or a municipal ID for undocumented workers.
At a meeting Thursday of the City Council immigration committee, Ravi Ragbir came to testify on private prisons holding illegal immigrants.
He’s been in those holding centers and for years has had no local ID, no driver’s license.
“It’s how do you live, how do you live without identification? How can you open a bank account, how do you even come into a building like this, city hall, to testify? Because everyone is everyone asking for ID,” Ragbir said.
Thursday, City Councilman Danny Dromm spoke of how he hopes to change the lives of immigrants in New York, to make life easier.
“So it’s a new era and I think the election of Bill de Blasio proves that, there are more people who are progressive, who are involved, who want New York to move forward on these types of issues,” Councilman Dromm said.