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Tens of thousands of immigrants and activists rallied on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday demanding Congress to pass a law that would offer a path to citizenship for over 11 million illegal aliens.

Organizers told Townhall that demonstrations were taking place in at least 18 states

The crowd chanted "Si, se puede," the Spanish equivalent of "Yes, we can", waved small U.S. flags and carried signs that read “Education Not Deportation,” “Time is Now” and “No More Families Torn Apart.”

At a time when the unemployment rate is 7.6 percent—and would be far higher had not millions of jobless Americans become discouraged and left the workforce—legalizing currently illegal immigrants will have far-reaching effects on Americans, particularly minorities.

Three members of the United States Commission on Civil Rights wrote on Thursday to Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH) arguing that "Such grant of legal status will likely disproportionately harm lower-skilled African-Americans by making it more difficult for them to obtain employment and depressing their wages when they do obtain employment."

"The increased employment difficulties will likely have negative consequences that extend far beyond economics," the commissioner wrote, including increased crime, incarceration and family breakdown.

The U.S. admits about 1 million legal immigrants per year, more than any other country, according to the Washington Examiner, and that number could jump by more than 50 percent over the next decade under the terms of the immigration reform bill.

Townhall asked the demonstrators how the U.S. workforce can accommodate over 11 million foreigners when millions of Americans already can't find jobs and why they feel the United States should have a more lenient immigration policy than every other country in the world.

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Alicia Powe

Alicia Powe is a Townhall intern, and has previously worked for the Media Research Center and the Rudy Giuliani campaign.