A rally in downtown Seattle on Monday made it clear immigration activists are on the offensive. They say it’s time to create a way for illegal immigrants to become citizens.
The reformers are riding the momentum of President Obama's re-election. Political insiders say many Hispanics voted for Pres. Obama because they rejected the Republican Party's platform on immigration.
About 300 people showed up at Seattle's Labor Temple to support people like 20-year-old Elizabeth Lara, who came to the U.S. from Mexico with her parents 13 years ago.
"Our country was built on the blood, sweat, tears, dreams, hopes and cultural diversity of immigrant workers," said Jeff Johnson, Washington State Labor Council.
At Monday’s rally, activists said breaking the law to get into the United States is not the issue.
"We should reward hard work. And these 11 million people have contributed to this nation,” said Maria Elena Durazo/National AFL-CIO.
Pres. Obama reportedly has drafted a proposal for immigration reform, but it was blasted by Republicans over the weekend.
Still, first term Democratic Congressional Member Suzan DelBene says it's not that simple.
"I do think that there is a bi-partisan conversation happening right now about comprehensive immigration reform,” she said.
Elizabeth Lara attends Heritage University in Toppenish and works in the orchards and fields to pay her tuition. She hopes to become an attorney some day.
"I feel like I am an American in every single way, just not on paper,” she said.