Over 2,000 people gathered in Washington DC today for a rally calling for comprehensive immigration reform.

Supporters of the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform heard an address from US Senator Ted Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy told the crowd that immigration reform will be a 'hard fought battle' but said he believed this year could see a new bill passed by Congress.

He said he believes the mood of the American people has shifted on the issue and 'most people want a workable solution'.

Last year, a bipartisan immigration bill passed the US Senate but was blocked by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

However, much has changed in the past year while the ILIR has kept up its lobbying effort.

Following victory in last November's midterm elections, Democrats believe they are in a stronger position to push through immigration legislation this year.

It is estimated that there are almost 12m undocumented people in the US.