Thousands of demonstrators poured into Chicago's streets on Wednesday -- May Day -- as part of a nationwide call for comprehensive immigration reform, worker's rights and an end to deportations.
Among the marchers in Chicago was Yolanda Villadomec, who emphasized to ABC Chicago that the issues share a central thread of "family unity," which she described as "very important" to her.
"That's the point that I always look at: family unity. We want the mother, the father, the children together as a family," Villadomec told the station.
The peaceful march -- only one isolated arrest was reported -- began at 2 p.m. on Wednesday at Union Park and proceeded to Federal Plaza in the Loop for a late afternoon rally. Demonstrators also rallied at the Haymarket monument in the afternoon.
Many demonstrators carried signs urging President Obama to cease deportations and embrace a comprehensive immigration reform platform. According to Chicago Sun-Times, many marchers chanted in Spanish, "Yes, we can. Stop deportations.”
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin was on hand for the Federal Plaza rally and told the crowd to continue their push for change. Durbin said that Congress currently has "the best chance we have had in 25 years" for comprehensive immigration reform, according to the Chicago Tribune. Two weeks ago, Durbin was among a bipartisan "gang of eight" that introduced an immigration bill -- which has since been the subject of criticism from pro-reform groups -- in Washington. (Read below to learn more about the proposal.)
"We have to seize that opportunity," Durbin said, according to the newspaper.
Also among the demonstrators was Aracly Rafael, a 35-year-old restaurant worker who came to the city illegally 15 years ago and is hopeful for a path to U.S. citizenship.
"I could have a better job and I could travel to see my family in Mexico," Rafael told the Associated Press.