Thousands flood downtown for Dallas Mega March
DALLAS - Thousands of people made their way through Downtown Dallas to support immigration reform and unity.
The Mega March at the Guadalupe Cathedral on Sunday and marched through the streets until they arrived at Dallas City Hall for a rally.
This year’s theme was “family, unity and empowerment.” Participants carried American flags and wore red, white and blue as a sign of solidarity.
“I think it's wonderful so many different diverse groups are coming together to unite,” said march participant Christine Hopkins. “The people united will never be divided.”
The crowd of people from different backgrounds came together to march the one-mile route from the Cathedral to City Hall.
“Regardless of what background we come from, regardless of our ethnic and cultural or even religious diversity, it's a strength to support each other not allow that to divide us,” said participant Shpeldim Nadzak.
Marchers like Michelle McAdam, who works with refugee families, wanted to come out to send a message of support.
“My sign is a Texas flag and it says ‘immigrants welcome,’” she said. “I want them to know they're absolutely welcome in my city.”
Many hoped the march would bring people together instead of tearing them apart.
Luis Aranda says he's a U.S. citizen but hopes people can come together under a common goal regardless of immigration status and politics.
“We support Donald Trump about taking all the criminals out of the country, all those that are doing bad. Yes, we support that,” he said. “But don't take those families that are working hard, paying their taxes and everything.”
Once the march arrived at Dallas City Hall, the rally began with the national anthem and the pledge of allegiance.
The leader of the Mega March, attorney and activist Domingo Garcia, told the crowd, “We march because we want to send a message to the White House: Immigrants are not political piñatas to be kicked around for political points. We are human beings."
Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia also spoke at the rally. She's the first immigrant woman to be elected to that office. She told the crowd, “We contribute to this beautiful country because we know this country has what we all want: the American Dream."
Dallas police officers were out in full force patrolling the march. The department said they would be watching the march closely, but did not disclose much detail due to security reasons.
The Dallas Police Department estimates about 3,200 people showed up for the march, a stark contrast to the march in 2006 that drew nearly half a million people.
The march remained completely peaceful. No arrests were made.