Dozens gather to rally for immigration reform

Santa Barbara hosts one of many May Day demonstrations nationwide

POSTED: 11:11 PM PDT May 01, 2013    UPDATED: 09:43 AM PDT May 02, 2013 
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Thousands of people across the country are calling for immigration reform.


May Day started as a day for labor rights, but over the past few years, its focus has shifted to improving immigration laws.


About one hundred people gathered at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Santa Barbara calling for immigration reform.

"People wish not to struggle, they wish to work, and strive for family, love, and a community without warring and drugs, and to live a healthy lifestyle. This is one of the things the United States offers," said Marvin Giron.

His father brought him and his family to the U.S. when Marvin was just 4-years-old.

"I actually learned English before I learned Spanish," he said.

Giron grew up, goes to school, and even works in the U.S., but like millions of other undocumented immigrants,  "this is my home, but I'm not able to call this my home," explained Giron.

He is hoping that could change, as lawmakers work on immigration reforms.
Proposed legislation would call for stricter enforcement of current laws in exchange for a path to citizenship.

While some say the bill excludes many people, others believe it is a good start.

"They want to see something that will put into consideration family unity, that will respect workers rights, that will take into consideration the dreamers, the students who have been helping our country," said community organizer, Anabel Merino.

Merino believe rallies like those staged across the country are making a difference.

"What they're seeing is the more they come out, the more we speak up, the more support there is.  People are a lot more hopeful now because its looking a lot more positive," she said.

The bi-partisan immigration reform bill could be headed to the senate later this month.