Dallasites gathered at City Hall in solidarity with asylum seekers on Sunday as reports came in about hundreds of migrants from the Central American migrant caravan marching along the U.S.-Mexico border.
More than 50 people gathered in the cold in response to a nationwide call for a day of action in support for the caravan.
Some of the groups that organized the event included Movimiento Cosecha, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, Denton’s International Socialist Organization, DFW Leaders, the Freedom Red Socialist Organization and the Democratic Socialists of America.
Demands from the organizations included lifting the executive order limiting access to asylum, processing asylum claims faster, freedom for incarcerated migrants and for the government to publicly acknowledge their role in the 2009 Honduran coup.
“This is a response to the arrival of the migrant caravan,” said Marissa Rodriguez, who helped organize the event. “It is also a response to the right wing attacks … and anti-immigrant sentiment that is used to keep the working class divided and antagonistic against one another. What they fear most is the solidarity and unity that has been shown here today.”
In the middle of speeches from community members and organizers, one speaker came up to read a news update from their phone, “We have just received breaking news that U.S. forces are using tear gas on the migrants protesting on the border.”
In October, migrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala began making their way to the United States to escape violence and poverty back home. The number of migrants in the caravan has grown by several thousand people, according to a number of reports.
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Migrants are camped out in Tijuana as they wait to be granted asylum in the United States, a process that could take months. Officers at the San Ysidro Port of Entry, where most migrants are trying to enter, are only processing up to 100 asylum-seekers per day according to reports. On Sunday, some of the migrants began protests to pressure the U.S. to speed up the process.
Many at the rally in Dallas spoke about their support for these protests and shared their hope for a safe entry for the thousands of migrants in Tijuana.
Writer and poet Edyka Chilomé echoed this support in one of her poems, which she read.
“To the thousands walking and thousands more in detention tonight; Protected only by prayers and God’s will you are a light,” she began. “To the elders’ children caught between worlds, translating your family’s rights; sin papeles, sin dinero, you are also a light.”