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Thousands demonstrate for immigration reforms in the US

Thousands of people demonstrate across the US on May day demanding immigration reforms so that more than 12 million illegal immigrants working in the country can achieve citizenship.

world Updated: May 02, 2007 12:41 IST

Thousands of people demonstrated across the United States on May day demanding immigration reforms so that more than 12 million illegal immigrants working in the country can achieve citizenship.

But the crowds were much less than last year partly because of the raids conducted by authorities against illegal immigrants.

The US Congress is considering immigration reforms but talks have got bogged down over differences in approach. While President Bush and Democrats support the guest worker programme which would create a path for them to obtain US citizenship, Republicans are against what they call "amnesty" for the illegals.

A compromise is being considered that the guest worker programme be linked with progress in the steps taken to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, especially from Mexico.

The biggest demonstration was reported from Chicago where officials said 150,000 people participated. Last year half a million had come out to express support for the rights of illegal immigrants who generally work in low paid jobs.

Thousands demonstrated in front of City Hall in Los Angeles which is home to some one million illegal immigrants. In Washington, only a few hundred made their appearance but in New York, several thousands turned up and an interfaith service preceded the protests.

Among other things, the demonstrators were protesting against the deportation of parents whose children are born in US. Children born in the US automatically get the citizenship. So, the immigration officials only deport the parents, most of whom have no choice to take their children with them.