Though attendance was lower than organizers had hoped, thousands of people marched across downtown Dallas to City Hall on Sunday, April 9 demanding immigration reform.
At Dallas City Hall, speakers represented the broad spectrum of organizers.
Speaking as a member of the LGBT community, the Rev. Neil Cazares-Thomas of Cathedral of Hope called himself an immigrant and an American and said the Bible teaches us to welcome the stranger.
“I am an American,” said Imam Omar Suleiman of the Valley Ranch Mosque. “I love this country as much as anyone else.”
He criticized the Trump administration pointing out that the children gassed by Assad were also denied entry to the U.S.
Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, introduced other Texas members of the House of Representatives.
Rep. Beto O’Rourke described his hometown of El Paso as, “La ciudad mas seguridad de los Estados Unidos,” or the safest city in the U.S. El Paso has been ranked as the safest city in the U.S., despite bordering Juarez, Mexico. O’Rourke, who is not Hispanic, speaks Spanish fluently. He recently announced his 2018 bid for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Ted Cruz.
“When people tell you to secure the border,” O’Rourke said, “I want you to tell them about El Paso.”
“In every generation, there were immigrants who were disrespected,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio. “And in every generation, there are politicians who have tried to divide us.”
County Judge Clay Jenkins told the crowd, “We are a welcoming community.”
He said our police fight crime.
“We are not the immigration police,” he said. “No one should be afraid to call 911, if a victim or witness.”
He said everyone in Dallas should feel welcome at Parkland and every child and their parents should be treated with respect in our schools.