Thousands of marchers gathered in downtown Dallas April 9 to support immigration rights in response to President Donald Trump’s stance on immigration.
The march, organized by several religious leaders in the community, began on a sunny day near Klyde Warren Park. Dallas Police, who estimated the crowd at more than 3,000, were on hand to make sure the march remained peaceful.
Organizers encouraged participants to wear red, white and blue. A melting pot of men, women and children waved American flags and marched down the street chanting “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!
Supporters of the president’s immigration action also came wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and carrying flags with the same words. They chanted: “America first!”
Even a few anarchists wearing ski masks and holding blank black flags attended. Some yelled “America was never great! Burn it down!” through megaphones.
Yet despite such differing views, the march remained peaceful with street performers joining to play live music and bring the crowd to Dallas City Hall.
People sang the national anthem and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. They listened to speeches from young immigrants here without legal permission who were worried about staying and from faith leaders in the community.
According to the Department of Homeland Security there are approximately 11.4 million people here without legal permission to bein the U.S. President Trump signed an executive order about the southern U.S. borderJanuary 25.
The order stated: “Border security is critically important to the national security of the United States. Transnational criminal organizations operate sophisticated drug and human-trafficking networks and smuggling operations on both sides of the southern border, contributing to a significant increase in violent crime and United States deaths from dangerous drugs. Among those who illegally enter are those who seek to harm Americans through acts of terror or criminal conduct.”
Many have worried, however, that other immigrants without legal permission, who are not the target of the president’s executive order will be arrested and deported without a chance to acquire legal status.
This was the expressed purpose of the Mega March; to stand up for hopeful immigrants seeking the American dream.
One man who came to show solidarity was Dallas city council candidate Linus Piller. Piller hopes Congress will pass immigration reform.
“This Congress has the ability to do it if they would get off their duffs and just do it. That’s what we pay them to do,” said Piller.
Martin Luther King III, son of the legendary civil rights leader, was also at the march.
“Obviously our system of immigration is not working properly today. People feel they’re being mistreated. I think there is a consciousness in the universe that is not going to allow all that to happen,” King said.
King met with President Trump in January.
The original Dallas Mega March was in 2006.