It's been nearly a decade since temporary status was granted for undocumented immigrants who arrived as children in the United States. And they say the uncertainty hasn't changed. 

Nine years ago, President Barack Obama approved the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that gave some legal protections for undocumented immigrants like Astou Thiane. 

"It was meant to be a temporary solution — meant to be temporary relief where young people like myself could apply for a two-year work permit and be able to work legally in the United States and this place we call home," she said.  

The program, known commonly as DACA, has come under fire. While in office, then-President Donald Trump tried to end it, but it was upheld by the Supreme Court. The last year has brought more uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, and DACA recipients unable to qualify for aid programs.  

"Immigrants are particularly vulnerable right now because they are navigating the economic insecurity and fallout," Thiane said. 

Thiane was among a group fo DACA recipients who met with President Joe Biden in the Oval Office. She says the new president is far more sympathetic to their concerns. But more help is needed. 

"The Biden administration highlighting this issue is just not enough," Thiane said. "We need our Congress and the folks in our Senate to act."

New York officials over the last several years have sought to boost help for undocumented residents, including direct aid and access to driver's licenses. 

"Historically, New York state, New York City has been the center of immigration for two, three centuries," said Phillip Connor, a demographer with the advocacy group "So there's a long-standing presence of immigrants in this place."

Connor's group on Tuesday released a report highlighting public support for developing pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. as well as the multiple ways of achieving it. 

Connor points to the billions of dollars in economic activity that could be generated if dreamers receive a path to citizenship. 

"So there's a great economic plus not only to the individual undocumented immigrants," he said, "but also to the United States as a whole."