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Members Of Congress Make Pilgrimage To City's Immigration Landmarks

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TWC News: Members Of Congress Make Pilgrimage To City's Immigration Landmarks
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As talk of immigration reform is stalling in Washington, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from Congress are in New York this weekend to attend events highlighting the immigrant experience.

The group was at the official mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion, on the Upper East Side this morning for a reception with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The so-called congressional pilgrimage from Washington, D.C. to New York is honoring America's immigrant heritage.

For many Americans, their ancestors entered the United States in New York, passing through the Ellis Island immigration station between 1892 to 1954.

This delegation is visiting historic sites in the city, including the African Burial Ground National Monument, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the National September 11th Memorial and the New-York Historical Society.

When the visiting lawmakers were asked if the goal of the visit was to promote comprehensive immigration reform, which has been opposed by Republicans, they said that is a potential outcome.

"This is to bring the level of discussion to a higher level. And to talk about the shared experience of becoming America. So, look, do I think this could possibly have some positive effect? I certainly hope so," said Rep. Joseph Crowley of the Bronx and Queens.

"The only way I know to make sure nothing happens is to try to drive wedges between the two parties. We have a two-party system, the Republicans control the house, Democrats control the Senate and we have a Democratic President, so we certainly have both sides represented," Bloomberg said.

The immigration reform bill has passed the Senate, but has not passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

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