PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A crowd gathered in Monument Square Wednesday to rally for immigration reform.
They are calling on congressional leaders to pass comprehensive legislation that would both strengthen the borders and help illegal immigrants become U-S citizens.
The legislation that's known as the Gang of Eight Immigration Reform Bill is a bipartisan effort. It would put more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who are already living and working in the United States of the path to citizenship, but only if several measures are put in in place to secure the Mexican border. The bill would provide funding for 3500 new customs agents, and new fencing and surveillance systems would be put into place.
It's an issue that people at the rally say affects undocumented immigrants here in Maine.
"They live in that fear that if they go out and they say they're undocumented they could be arrested," activist Isai Galvez said. "You know, everything they do is based on just that little piece of paper."
This proposal follows several immigration reform bills that have gone before Congress in the past decade and failed. For many lawmakers, particularly republicans, this type of legislation rewards people who break the law, and could take jobs away from U.S. citizens.