Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin addresses a large crowd of immigrant rights supporters during a May Day rally in Chicago's Federal Plaza on May 1, 2013.
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says Americans must stand together to achieve comprehensive immigration reform.
"We have the best chance we've had in 25 years to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year in Washington, D.C. We need to seize that opportunity," he told a crowd of several thousand people at a downtown Chicago rally on Wednesday.
The May Day event has become an annual cry for easing the nation's immigration laws. Similar events were held in cities throughout the country.
Durbin was part of a bipartisan group of senators that introduced an immigration bill two weeks ago. The legislation would provide a path to citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million living in the U.S. illegally. It also would strengthen border security and require employers to use an electronic verification system to check an individual's eligibility to work in the U.S.
He says this is the best chance in 25 years to pass immigration legislation. He calls it "a once-in-a lifetime opportunity."