McALLEN, RGV – More than 350 immigrant community members and supporters rallied in McAllen, Texas, on Saturday as part of a national day of action to prevent deportations and protect the rights of border residents.
Rio Grande Guardian videojournalist Apolonio ‘Apol’ Sandoval, Jr., took photos on the march, which went from McAllen Municipal Park to Archer Park in downtown McAllen.
Among the immigrants represented were Mexican Americans, Muslim Americans, environmental advocates, LGBTQ groups, and women’s rights advocates. They called for dignity and respect for immigrants. Some had specific causes, such as opposition to deportations or more border walls.
La Unión del Pueblo Entero member Sareth Garcia of Edinburg explained why she joined the march: “I march today because I want respect for all people with disabilities, for Mexican immigrants, undocumented or not, for all American Muslims, and for all the people. Our new president wants to build not only a big fence in the Rio Grande Valley, but a big fence in our minds, creating division and fear. We want respect, equality, and justice for all. And we say yes to creating sanctuary spaces in our cities and universities.”
Ameera Khan, of the Muslim Student Association, explained why she joined the march: “The Muslim community is a crucial part of this country. We’ve been here since the start of this country and I promise you, we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Since the beginning of this country, there’s always been inequality and bigotry. Even today, we see it everywhere. But every single day is a struggle towards the long road to equality and liberation for all of us.”
Similar marches took place in 50 cities across the country on Saturday.