Residents urge officials to pass Liberty Act to protect immigrants

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THE BRONX -

Some residents spent Sunday urging the government to protect New York's immigrants from deportation.

Advocates asked dozens of people entering the New York Botanical Garden to sign a petition for the passing of the Liberty Act.

The legislation would protect immigrants by prohibiting state and local law enforcement agencies from stopping, questioning, investigating or arresting a person based on immigration status. It would also establish a right to legal representation for people facing deportation proceedings

The state Assembly passed the bill back in February, but now advocates are trying to get the Senate to pass the Liberty Act.

Tereza Lee, one of the event organizers, recalls her fears growing up as an undocumented immigrant who came to this country with her family at 2 years old.

"I would have been deported to Brazil, a place that I had no idea of, I didn't know the language, I didn't know anyone there. My parents would have deported to Korea and my little brother, who was born here, would have been put in foster care," she says.

Advocates say the act would help millions of New Yorkers.

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