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Immigrant groups vow mass protests in 60 U.S. cities

Supporters across America should rally in 'a peaceful but firm way,' say organizers

Immigrant groups vow mass protests in 60 U.S. cities

Pro-immigrant groups vow giant marches across the United States on Monday (tomorrow Taiwan time) demanding immigration reform and the legalization of nearly 12 million undocumented migrants living in the nation.

Marches have been organized in 60 cities, including here in the U.S. capital.

Coalitions gathering groups that represent immigrants to the United States, both legal and undocumented, are trying to keep pressure on U.S. legislators to reach a compromise on proposed reforms of U.S. immigration policy.

The April 10 protest "has incredible importance," said Eliseo Medina, head of the Service Employees International Union and one of the organizers of the march in New York.

"The community must mobilize with one voice in a disciplined manner, in a peaceful but firm way," he said.

On Monday "we march in the streets, but we will also march to the voting booth in November," during key mid-term elections, said Medina, adding that not all immigrants were undocumented and that many will vote.

In Los Angeles, Miami and other cities, the Catholic Church has called its members to join in the protests.

On Friday the U.S. Senate failed to approve compromise legislation before their two week April recess that would have allowed millions of undocumented workers to normalize their status.

Organizers hope to top the late March protests in 44 U.S. cities, in which they said 1.5 million people took to the streets.

Immigration reform has divided Bush's Republican Party, and the president on Saturday endorsed no alternative plan while restating his opposition to amnesty.

"We must ensure that those who break our laws are not granted an automatic path to citizenship," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

"Amnesty would also be unwise, because it would encourage others to break the law and create new waves of illegal immigration," he added.

Bush and members of Congress are also under pressure from Hispanics, the largest U.S. ethnic minority, who are increasingly influential on the political and economic fronts. Neither party wants to lose their potential support over immigration missteps.

Updated : 2021-10-17 12:49 GMT+08:00