Thousands Protest Immigration Bill in Dallas

4-9-06 - DALLAS (AP) - Tens of thousands of people crammed the streets of downtown Dallas on Sunday while calling for immigration reform that would legalize an estimated 11 million undocumented workers.

They banged drums and waived US flags while wearing white clothing to symbolize peach. Marchers included families who pushed strollers carrying children.

Many protesters wore shirts that stated, quote “No H-R 4437” quote making reference to the House bill passed in December.

This bill calls for building more walls along the US Mexico border and strengthens laws against those who assist undocumented immigrants or those who enter the country illegally.

Hundreds of police were on hand but there were no reports of violence.

A similar march was held Sunday in nearby Fort Worth.

A top Republican remains optimistic that the Senate will pass a compromise immigration bill.

In fact, Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania is promising to have a bill ready for debate soon after senators return from their Easter break.

Specter told "Fox News Sunday" that he thinks tempers will cool over the two-week hiatus, and that senators will get feedback from constituents about the failure to pass a bill.

A compromise measure appeared ready for passage Friday, but fell victim to internal disputes and political maneuvering. Top Republicans blamed the Senate's Democratic leader, Harry Reid.

The bill would have required stronger border security, regulated the future entry of foreign workers, and created regulations for illegal immigrants already in the country.

The House has passed a tougher, more controversial bill.