Union to rally in Norristown for immigration reform

As a bipartisan congressional panel puts pen to paper on a comprehensive immigration reform package, members of a regional labor union will rally in Norristown in support of the effort.

SEIU 32BJ -- which represents 120,000 janitors, window-washers, doormen, security guards and other "property services workers" -- is planning a rally Saturday at 11 a.m. in front of St. Patrick's Church at 714 DeKalb Street.  Afterward, the group will march down DeKalb to the borough hall.

Business and labor leaders announced last week that they had agreed on a broad framework for reform, and passed the package to the Gang of Eight -- four Republican and four Democratic senators -- to hammer out the details. They expect to introduce the legislation after Congress returns from recess April 8.

The plan would provide a new class of worker visas for low-skilled workers, secure the border, crack down on employers, improve legal immigration and create a 13-year pathway to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here. 

The Norristown rally kicks off what SEIU 32BJ calls a "week of action" across the Northeast, including an April 10 march on the West Lawn of the Capitol.

Norristown is one of Southeast Pennsylvania's largest immigration hubs, with a population that is 28.3 percent foreign-born and 20.3 percent Hispanic or Latino, according to the 2010 Census.

Associated Press contributed to this report.