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He said U.S. Park Police eventually asked them to leave the main area. After moving across the street into a less densely populated area, Mr. Beck said, he found some people to interview, including a man who said all Americans of European ancestry should be deported to Europe.

Event organizers learned the lessons of previous rallies and marches, where Mexican and other nations’ flags dominated, and drew criticism.

On Sunday, some other flags were sprinkled into the mix, but American flags easily outnumbered those at the smaller “tea party” rally earlier on the grounds of the Capitol to protest the health care bill being debated in Congress.

“Let me see those American flags,” said Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union, leading a chant of “USA.”

Underscoring the continuing political split on the issue, several dozen Democratic members of Congress were recognized on the stage, and a handful spoke. But among Republicans, only Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida spoke.

No Democrat got a better reception than Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois, who one young speaker even said he wished had been elected president. Mr. Gutierrez has taken leadership of the immigration issue after the death last year of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

“We’ve been patient long enough. We’ve listened quietly, we’ve asked politely, we’ve turned the other cheek so many times our heads are spinning,” he said. “Here in this place, where Americans facing injustice travel to have justice delivered, we travel to place our demands.”

Mr. Gutierrez has his own bill that is more lenient toward illegal immigrants than the framework Mr. Schumer and Mr. Graham introduced last week. His plan doesn’t include the biometric Social Security identification card, nor does it envision a guest-worker program.

Speakers at the rally included a former police chief; bishops and clergy of various faiths; leaders of black, Hispanic, Asian and Irish rights groups; and labor unions.

“The Catholic Church stands with you, and is in this fight until the end,” said Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, archbishop of the Los Angeles Diocese.

The only major part of the coalition trying to pass immigration reform that failed to participate in the rally were business leaders, who have been uncertain about how closely to work with unions.

Despite the broad coalition, the prominence of Spanish from the stage, including public service announcements about children lost in the massive crowd, made clear who the real backbone of the movement is, and who the biggest beneficiaries of a legalization program would be.