U.S. immigration rallies draw 1 million

April 11, 2006 at 7:04 AM

WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- Well over a million U.S. immigrants and their supporters in some 150 cities rallied peacefully against a congressional clampdown and possible deportations.

In Washington, about 200,000 people gathered at the National Mall, where speakers such as Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney warned that if Congress and President George Bush don't adopt a plan immigrant communities can support, there will be political retribution in the fall.

A coalition of Latino, labor and church groups plans to use Congress' current two-week spring recess to lobby members in their home districts, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.

On Friday, the Senate failed to reach agreement on a compromise deal that would allow an estimated 11.5 million illegal immigrants to apply for citizenship.

Opponents of the Senate plan, sponsored by Kennedy and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., say it amounts to an amnesty for lawbreakers. The plan would let immigrants who have lived in the country a certain number of years apply for legal status and eventually become permanent citizens.

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