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Thousands in Phoenix at Immigration Rally

AP - PHOENIX - Thousands of immigrant rights supporters filled a major Phoenix thoroughfare Friday morning as they marched toward the office of U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl in a rally call for a more humane reform of immigration laws.

Lawmakers have been considering bills that, among other things, would make it a felony to be illegally in the United States, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border.

Kyl, a Republican, is sponsoring a bill that would give illegal immigrants up to five years to leave the country.

The proposals have angered many in the Hispanic community.

On Thursday, more than 10,000 people filled the streets of Milwaukee in what was billed as "A Day Without Latinos" to protest efforts in Congress to target undocumented workers.

Hundreds of Los Angeles students walked out Friday morning to call attention to immigration issues.

In Georgia, activists said tens of thousands of workers didn't show up at their jobs on Friday after calls for a work stoppage to protest a bill passed by the Georgia House on Thursday. That bill, which has yet to gain Senate approval, would deny state services to adults living in the U.S. illegally and impose a 5 percent surcharge on wire transfers from illegals.

Teodoro Maus, one of the organizers of the Georgia protest, estimated as many as 80,000 Hispanics did not show up for work Friday.

About 200 people converged on the steps of the Georgia Capitol, some wrapped in Mexican flags and holding signs reading: "Don't panic, we're Hispanic" and "We have a dream, too."

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