The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Students share their experiences from Sunday’s Immigration March

 Students share their experiences from Sundays Immigration March
Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus
Students share their experiences from Sunday’s Immigration March

Students share their experiences from Sunday’s Immigration March (Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus)

Sunday started with an air of excitement. I knew that many of us would make history that day. I never imagined that half a million people would walk together down the streets of downtown Dallas for a single cause.

My family and I waited at the Hampton DART station for half an hour before we were able to squeeze onto an already overcrowded train. My sister and I stood inches from the sliding doors, and back to back with hundreds of others on their way to the Cathedral of Guadalupe. The ride, although uncomfortable, gave me a sense of pride and made me wonder-if all these people were on their way to the march, how many were already there?

We finally made it downtown with only 30 minutes before the start. All I could see was a massive crowd of people in white tees. People of all ages with smiles on their faces and American flags in their hands.

My emotions ranged from excitement – from seeing such a large turnout – to frustration – because I couldn’t find my friends in the sea of people. But once the march started, I gained a feeling of serenity and purpose. All of us there were there for a reason: to show the United States our stance on immigration and to ask for the ability to follow our dreams.

I am not an immigrant, but my father was. Many of my relatives and friends are too. I know from first-hand experience that immigrants are not trying to conquer America or turn it into Mexico, or any other country. They simply want a life of opportunities – much like the first settlers who came here many years ago.

The march gave me hope. I saw people of all races united. No one seemed bothered by the heat or the long walk. People joked, sang and chanted. Most of them ignored the few counter-protesters on the sidelines.

Before I knew it, the march was over and people started, going home. I felt satisfied with what we had done. As I walked back to the DART station, I thought of all that I’d heard and seen. One chant came to mind: “La gente unida jamás será vencida” – “People united will never be divided.”

 

Elizabeth Rubalcava is a junior corporate communication and public affairs major. She may be contacted at [email protected].

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Both my father and mother were illegal immigrants when they first came to Texas, as well as many members of my family. So the march meant a lot for me. My grandparents are U.S. citizens, but had my parents in Mexico. They tried going through the system to make their children U.S. residents or citizens but the process took too long. After a few years of waiting for a naturalization appointment, my father decided to cross over illegally. My mother did the same when 12 years old. It was here in Dallas where they met and married.

I marched the “Mega March” with some friends at SMU. There was an energetic vibe throughout the crowd that I can not explain. It was as if we were all singing our favorite songs out loud together, but instead we were chanting words of support. I couldn’t tell the difference. It felt about the same.

There were people of different cultures, countries, colors and beliefs, all wanting the same thing.

There are people who are naturally loud and love to yell out and chant. I wouldn’t describe myself as this type of person, but you couldn’t tell the difference on that day. That day I chanted like I never had before.

I found it phenomenal that 500,000 of us showed up. That’s the same number of people in the Los Angeles march. It just blows me away of how many people showed up. On how many Dallas residents came out to march.

It was more of a festival than a march. There were goofy individuals that would make us laugh. We had a batch full of jokers that enjoyed yelling out a joke or two. There were even dancers and drummers that danced up and down the middle of the march.I bet the out-of-town folks really enjoyed taking pictures of us from their hotel rooms.

I’m flattered to have been part of making history in Dallas. It just goes to show how strongly a lot of Dallas residents oppose Bill 4437.

 

Veronica Muñoz is a junior journalism major. She may be reached at [email protected].

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A few of my friends and I went down to the massive immigration protest that was on Sunday, April 9, 2006, in the heart of downtown Dallas. When we arrived at Mockingbird Station the DART was backed up for miles. The train cars were packed with white-shirted protestors (mostly families) who were in support of peaceful protest for immigrants rights. After finally hopping on a packed train, we arrived a block from where the protest began a few hours earlier, and were shocked to see the protest line began a block before the starting point of the protest. There were thousands upon thousands of people, marching, chanting and singing under the banner of fair treatment of Mexican and Latino immigrants. We began our long journey to City Hall — filled with clapping, singing, and chanting by ourselves and those around us. I did not once see an unruly protestor or even a scuffle between protestors and those onlookers who were just curious. The march led us to City Hall, which was packed with families waving American flags and chanting for the rights of their loved ones here and abroad. Looking out across the rally it was really an amazing site to see such a large community mobilized so quickly — but when you read the bill that is being proposed you can see why the residents of the affected communities would come out in force. We were even pleasantly surprised to see some banners, signs and art work that explored the issue of the exploitation of the migrant worker. On our way back we saw a plane with a banner that said “No Amnesty, No Mexico, USA: Love it or leave it.” Perhaps the pilot didn’t realize that more than 500,000 protestors who want to stay in America love it and don’t want to “leave it.”

 

Ben Wells is a junior anthropology major. He can be reached at [email protected]

Students share their experiences from Sunday’s Immigration March (Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus)

Students share their experiences from Sunday’s Immigration March (Photo by John Schreiber, The Daily Campus)

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