AUSTIN, Texas - A blue sky behind the Texas Capitol Tuesday morning provided a welcoming backdrop as protesters marched across the Congress Ave. Bridge. The march was organized to support the DACA program, and the message was defiant and clear.
"That this is our home, we are here to stay, and we are going to continue to make our city a better,” said Sheridan Aguirre with United We Dream.
The event got started earlier at Travis High School. More than 50 kids got permission to walk out. Among those who left and marched was Roxie Mendoza.
"Certainly the rhetoric gets a little hard at times, right, we get a lot of push back and that’s fair, like I get it, people are scared about something they might not understand, what seems like a mob coming at people, right, but we are here to work and to prove are just contributing members, and so we are going to keep pushing back,” said Mendoza.
Mendoza was not only marching for friends but also for one of her high school teachers, Larissa Villarruel Sanchez. The march, according to Sanchez, is personal because she is a DACA recipient. Sanchez is also a math teacher and understands she can be a living lesson for her students.
"That I'm a voice for change, for them and themselves, as well,” said Sanchez.
Some of those marching put on cardboard butterfly wings. They were symbolic of monarch butterflies which migrate every year across the southern border. Groups from Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona joined the students as they marched into downtown Austin. The hike to the State Capitol Complex, which was about 4 miles long, made a quick pause at the AFL-CIO headquarters to pick up more supporters. From there it was off to the final stop. A rally was held outside of the office for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Paxton has push for a hearing before the Supreme Court to put an end to DACA.
In a morning tweet; President Trump posted;
“Many of the people in DACA, no longer very young, are far from “angels.” Some are very tough, hardened criminals. President Obama said he had no legal right to sign order, but would anyway. If Supreme Court remedies with overturn, a deal will be made with Dems for them to stay!”
Compromise will be a hard sell, according to Aguirre.
"I think under this Administration a deal cannot be made, because every time immigrant young people had advocated for a pathway to citizenship or some form of permanent protection, Trump has shut it down, demanding more and more money for ICE and for Border Patrol, and we can't accept that because those agents will go after our community members and our parents, and that doesn't make sense, why would we protect someone and go after our loved ones as well,” said Aguirre.
Those at the protest promised to continue to fight for DACA recipients to get a pathway to citizenship, regardless of how the Supreme Court Rules.