Thousands march for immigration reform at downtown LA May Day rally

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Fewer than 3,000 immigrant activists and their supporters packed the streets of downtown Los Angeles yesterday for May Day demonstrations.

Chanting “We are the students, we are the students. The mighty, mighty students. Fighting for the Dream Act,” people marched in support of comprehensive immigration reform, workers’ rights and the federal DREAM Act.

The US Senate blocked the DREAM bill last year.

The legislation seeks to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented minors in college and the military. A similar state version of the measure has inched closer to approval.

Last month California lawmakers passed bills that would allow illegal immigrants to apply for financial aid at universities and colleges.

Alex Santos, an 18-year-old high school senior, says that's good news.

Santos marched at yesterday’s rally. The native of Mexico has lived in Orange County most of his life.

“I was brought here illegally and ever since I’ve been watching my family struggle through like many like things that have happened to us, from not having a job to like living all crowded in an apartment and this and that," Santos said. "And I’m tired of seeing people living like that so we’re here to fight for making a change, making a difference in our community. ”

Santos says he hopes state and federal lawmakers will pass the DREAM Act, so he may apply for financial aid to college. Critics say the state can’t afford to give money to illegal immigrants.

The California assembly may consider the issue as early as this week.