NEW YORK (AP) — The crowds marking the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington include immigration reform among the many issues they talk about. Advocates say they see similarities between their movement and the civil rights struggle.

The link between civil rights and America's immigration realities is more than a rhetorical device.

It is history coming full circle, as the demographic change now being seen across the United States owes some of its existence to the movement.

In 1965 the federal government radically changed its immigration policy, opening the country's doors to the world after decades of keeping them shut. Historians say that could happen, in part, because of a hunger for change and equality created by the civil rights movement.