Hundreds of people gathered on Sept. 25, to speak to the need of a pathway to citizenship for millions across the country at the March for Citizenship. Starting at Viking Park in north Denver, directly impacted people shared their testimonies and rallied protesters to begin the march down Speer Blvd. to Auraria parkway. Marchers demanded action from Congress to create a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, an end to detentions, deportations, and border patrol abuses, and justice for refugees and asylum seekers including those at the southern border. Following the march, a rally was held at Auraria campus with speakers and artistic performances.
The march came in a critical week following a national march for immigration reform in Washington DC on September 21, to demand citizenship as Democratic lawmakers continue to fight for a pathway to citizenship for millions to be included in the budget reconciliation bill. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration continues its legally dubious and heartless policies at the border under Title 42 and has ramped up dangerous detention and deportation for those seeking safety. Calls for immigration justice also became more urgent as harrowing images came to light of Border Patrol agents at the southern border chasing and whipping Haitian asylum seekers last week. At the beginning of Saturday’s rally, a prayer and moment of silence was held for Haitian migrants at the border.
“We marched for justice for all immigrants and refugees. We marched for Haitian migrants whipped by Border Patrol, for mothers and fathers detained and deported from their children, for essential workers who risk their lives for this country but cannot become citizens. We marched because it’s time for Congress to formally recognize undocumented immigrants as the Americans they already are. It’s time for “We the People” to include all of us. A bipartisan majority of voters supports citizenship for millions. The President strongly supports it. Democrats in Congress are prepared to vote for it. We expect our elected leaders to use every ounce of their power to keep their promise. We will not stop until all 11+ million undocumented immigrants have a path to citizenship,” said Lisa Duran, Executive Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition.
Colorado elected officials supported the march and rally at Auraria Campus.
“I’m the living proof of what citizenship allows immigrants to achieve,” stated Colorado State Representative Naquetta Ricks. “We need Congress and the Biden administration to live up to the promise to enact meaningful immigration reform…The images of Haitian immigrants being whipped and turned away at the border sickens me to my core as does the knowledge that thousands of Afghans remain in danger abroad. America presents the land of opportunity, equality, and justice and yet our federal government chooses to meet migrants with force rather than social workers, health care professionals and legal aid. We demand better and we deserve more.”
Several DACA recipients shared their views on the need for immigration reform.
“It’s unfortunate that many immigrants and the children of immigrants still continue to face discrimination, mistreatment and rejection from the very community and society that we sacrifice to make America better, the place we call home. After decades of waiting for immigration reform we cannot let this moment pass. We demand citizenship for all justice for refugees, an end to deportations and family separations and rights to all immigrants like myself,” said Eriko Tsogo, DACA recipient.
“I marched for my community—for all undocumented immigrants regardless of what they contribute to this country,” said Linda Medina, March for Citizenship. “I recognize the privilege I have in being a DACA recipient and the protections it comes with. It is still not enough. Despite the fear and push-back, I will continue to march and advocate for a comprehensive immigration reform that includes citizenship for all.”
For More Colorado News: ELSEMANARIO.US