Thousands of people from more than 30 states participated in the rally which showcased multi-sector support for immigration refom.
NAACP president Benjamin Jealous delivered the keynote address.
The speakers remarked that undocumented immigrants are Americans-in-waiting. Most live in families and most have been here longer than a decade. Many are young people – DREAMers – who have excelled in high school and college.
In addition, most undocumented Americans are "hard workers and risk takers who came here to build a better life for their families", they said.
Organizers and speakers exposed that the reform must combine:
1) an inclusive path to citizenship for those working and living in America without papers: if you’re here, you pass background checks, study English and pay taxes, you can become a citizen;
2) fair enforcement because for years we’ve prioritized the border and failed to enforce labor, civil, and human rights;
3) a modern legal immigration system that protects family unity and links employment-based visa levels to the economy—increasing when employers legitimately cannot fill jobs, and decreasing when unemployment is high.
Immigrants families spoke about how the broken system has devastated their families.