WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- A demonstration in Washington Sunday drew tens of thousands of immigration reform supporters who urged U.S. officials to update immigration law.
Addressing the crowd on the National Mall, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said the estimated 10.8 million immigrants in the United States illegally should be permitted "to come out of the shadows into the light and for America to embrace them and protect them" with a path to citizenship, The Washington Post reported.
Gutierrez urged the White House and Congress to take action now on immigration reform.
"We've been patient long enough. We've listened quietly. We've asked politely. We've turned the other cheek so many times our heads are spinning," Gutierrez said.
Addressing the demonstration by video feed, President Barack Obama repeated that he is committed to getting comprehensive immigration reform enacted, the Washington Independent reported.
The demonstration was organized by Reform Immigration for America. Service Employees International Union, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Democracia Ahora and the Coalition for Human Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles took part in the rally.
There were no official estimates of the size of the crowds, since Washington authorities do not provide crowd estimates. The Independent estimated the crowd at more than 200,000.