A big rally is planned for next month in Liberty State Park in Jersey City for immigration reform.

Liberty State Park (Flickr user SachinDaluja)

"Immigrants have made a substantial contribution to strengthening the American way of life- through hard work, paying taxes, obeying the law and serving our country in the military," says New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak.

He says America will be better served by establishing a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, who will have to learn to speak English, pay all taxes due and owed, and who don't have criminal offenses.

Lesniak adds comprehensive immigration reform will reunite families, separated by our current outdated immigration laws, it will end the exploitation of workers who are unable to be protected by the workplace laws and regulations of our state and the federal government, and it will enhance law enforcement by allowing undocumented immigrants to come forward as witnesses to crimes.

"New Jersey is united behind efforts to pass a comprehensive path to citizenship. It will serve our country well, and the time to act is now."

State Senator Nellie Pou agrees.

"America is a country of immigrants," she says, "It is our source of greatness- it is what has drawn people from throughout the world who are in search of freedom and opportunity…We need to re-boot the countries immigration laws to keep pace with the American dream."

Pou adds the great majority of immigrants have jobs, pay taxes, have families, go to school and are contributing members of their communities. She says they are good Americans in every respect.

"Comprehensive reforms need to include policies that provide the opportunity to gain legal residency and a pathway to citizenship."