Organizers are counting down the hours for Mega March 2017. Several community activists and organizations have been planning the large immigration reform and unity rally for two months.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to flood Downtown Dallas April 9th for Mega March 2017.
“Immigration reform is long overdue,” said Jose Montoyo, a graduate student at Southern Methodist University.
Immigrants, Dreamers, and concerned families and community members are speaking out and asking for support.
“You want that right to feel like you belong here,” said Erica Suarez, President of Townview LULAC.
Suarez says she and some of her classmates plan to attend Sunday’s massive rally. She says too many of her classmates are in fear they will soon be separated from their families.
“There shouldn’t be a fear as to why your parents need to be taken away,” Suarez explained.
The last Mega March in Dallas was in 2006. The city saw 500,000 people marching the streets during that event.
Dreamers like Montoya hope the crowd is as large Sunday afternoon.
“We’re marching because we have rights and we have dignity,” Montoya said. “We need to send a message that is going to echo through the walls of all of the buildings in downtown Dallas, and hopefully to the White House.”
Folks from different faiths and cultures will be marching the one-mile route from Cathedral Guadalupe to Dallas City Hall. Participants are being encouraged to wear red, white and blue as a symbol of unity.
A group of Syrian women will be among the crowd. During a press conference, one student says her family of six struggled fleeing from Syria to America, with only $40 to its name.
“We came here to reach our dreams,” the teenage student said, “to live a good life, and to achieve what we want.”
Immigration reform is also a hot topic for veterans like Cesario Garcia.
“Both my parents came from Mexico,” Garcia explained. “They crossed the border illegally.”
He says his parents, like many, worked hard and made a name for themselves. They eventually became U.S. citizens.
Garcia said, “Be the voice of Americans, and represent who we are, and say immigration is the way to go.”
Mega March 2017 begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9.