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Massive immigration protest hits downtown Boise
05:51 PM MDT on Sunday, April 9, 2006

Thousands of protestors took to Capitol Boulevard Sunday afternoon, calling for immigration reform.

As marchers made their way to the Idaho Statehouse, traffic backed up in all directions, with little or no traffic control. Our crew on the scene estimates the crowd to number 4,000 people or greater.

Many of the protestors gathered in Capitol Park, across the street from the Statehouse.

Several speakers made speeches, but their words were drowned out by the crowd, chanting "Si se Puede," or "Yes We Can."

Organizers say they want to send a message to congress, as well as Idaho's leaders to "pass immigration reform that provides a clear path to citizenship that unites families and ensures workplace and civil rights protection for all."

The central issue is legislation that would give legal status to some illegal aliens, but would cut off citizenship to others.

The march is organized by the Center for Community Justice and the Idaho Community Action Network. The rally is expected to last at least an hour. Demonstrators held signs with a variety of messages, including "We are United," "United We Dream," and "I want to go to college." Hundreds of American flags dotted the crowd.

Similar marches are being held across the country, including large-scale protests in Dallas and Los Angeles.

NewsChannel 7 has crews on the scene, a full update on News at Ten, and on KTVB.COM.

-NewsChannel 7's Mike Vogel contributed to this report.