The campaign to win amnesty for illegal immigrants is “a very substantial civil rights movement,” according to New York Times reporter Julia Preston, who, along with other progressive journalists, spoke about the issue on an immigration reform panel to a Washington, D.C. audience on Friday.

Preston is the New York Times’ primary immigration reporter — and the paper is cheering on the push by progressives and employers to grant amnesty to 11 million illegal immigrants during an extended recession. The Gray Lady also backs the simultaneous campaign to double legal immigration, which would bring in 22 million additional immigrant workers and consumers by 2023.

But, warned Preston, a “popular resistance out in the country” has sprung up to oppose amnesty.