Immigration reform activists have stepped up the pressure for the regularisation of 12 million undocumented migrants, pledging to take over the capital's streets with a mass demonstration calling on US President Barack Obama to "keep your promise."
Supporters of a Reform Bill unveiled last week in Congress by New York Senator Charles Schumer revealed that more than 100,000 immigrants were expected to march on Washington on March 21 to press the president on his campaign promise to "change a broken immigration system."
Reform Immigration for America campaign leader Ali Noorani declared that the demonstration would be "an unprecedented action by those who are undocumented, but no longer afraid.
"We are optimistic, and expecting aggressive and urgent action from the White House on comprehensive immigration reform before March 21," he asserted.
But Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights head Angelica Salas pointed out that, although Mr Obama had announced his "unwavering support" for regularisation, "on any given day there are still over 32,000 immigrants under detention in US jails awaiting deportation."
League of United Latin American Citizens director Brent Wilkes explained that "with five million children of undocumented immigrants having US citizenship by virtue of their birth in this country, these deportations are inevitably leading to broken households and passing reform is urgent."
An increasing number of Latin American, Asian and African migrants have been holding "coming out parties" in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York to declare that they are "undocumented and unafraid."