Thousands of people took to the streets in 40 states to hold what they called a “National Day of Immigrant Dignity and Respect” on Saturday afternoon.
Los Angeles, San Diego, Boston, Atlanta, New York, and Washington were among the cities that marches occurred.
The United States is home to nearly 12 million immigrants who lack legal status.
“I know there has been a shutdown, but we want Congress to know that the time is now to act,” said Evelyn Servin, an immigrant advocate. “We don’t want any more deportations. The respect we deserve is really needed here in Alabama.”
House Democrats introduced an immigration bill this week, saying their bill could pass if it went for a vote because nearly all their caucus would support it and some GOP members might, too.
House Speaker John Boehner, however, has said he will not bring a comprehensive immigration bill to the floor if a majority of GOP members oppose it.
A spokesman for Majority Leader Eric Cantor said simply “no” when asked if there was a chance the House Democrats’ bill would get a vote.
Reform supporters hope they can change Republicans’ minds.
Immigration-reform advocates say thousands of people will gather on the National Mall in Washington on Tuesday to make another call for reform, including through civil disobedience near the Capitol which could lead to arrests.
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