DALLAS — This area’s contribution to the outcry for immigration reform took place, appropriately, outside the Dallas County Jail, aka Lew Sterrett Justice Center, downtown at noon on April 5. The site was appropriate because so many brothers and sisters from the south, even those with minor traffic violations, are being held in the jail.
Pueblo Sin Fronteras, an immigrant rights group, and the Texas Organizing Project, which gets into any and all community issues, sponsored the activity, but the Dallas AFL-CIO banner was front and center.
Seventy-five people heard speakers from the sponsoring organizations, but also some very good solidarity messages from the Dallas AFL-CIO, North Texas Jobs with Justice, Texas Alliance for Retired Americans, and an activist from the American Federation of Teachers. Right-wingers are trying to take over and privatize the school district here, and the teacher speaker talked about how rotten it could get for Latino kids.
Toward the end of the rally, State Rep. Roberto Alonzo came running in. He had experienced some trouble finding the rally’s exact location, but got there as soon as he could. Alonzo told about the days when his grandfather, a U.S. citizen, was rounded up and deported to Mexico because “he looked like a Mexican.”
Tiny Margarita Alvarez stole the show — as she always does –with her fantastic speaking ability. Alvarez is from Guatemala. She grabbed the bullhorn away from the organizers and patrolled the length of the crowd while yelling the strongest and most emotional condemnations of America’s racist right wing. “Somos Americanos!” (We’re Americans), she declaimed with every breath. She ended, “Did we build all these tall buildings and these long highways because we are foreigners? No! Somos Americanos!”
The rally was critical of President Obama. He was called “Deporter-in-Chief” because of the record-setting number of deportations during his administration. The main chant was “Not one more!”
Photo: via Facebook