Causes

Dallas Mega-Rally Falls Short of Last Year’s Numbers: Why Aren’t Latinos Supporting the Cause Like They Did?

Dallas Mega-Rally Falls Short of Last Year’s Numbers: Why Aren’t Latinos Supporting the Cause Like They Did?

LatinaLista — Perhaps the two most eye-catching signs at today's Dallas Mega March were:

"America is for Americans" and "Will Speak English for Citizenship."

Those signs pretty much sum up how the immigration debate has formed over the last year since Hispanics took to the streets in cities from Los Angeles to Chicago to Dallas and towns in between.

Last year's Mega March in support of undocumented immigrants in Dallas drew almost half a million people.


Indira Lagunas (left), 11, and her sister Esperanza Lagunas, 9, display an American flag during Sunday's rally.
(Source: Dallas Morning News)

With another hour to go until this North Texas rally winds down, the exact turnout number won't be known until tomorrow.

What is known is that nowhere near last year's amount showed up today. The local police spokesman is calling the crowd a "modest size," less than the 5,000 organizers are claiming are there.


Dallas' Mega March 07
(Source: Dallas Morning News blog)

But what is happening in Dallas is not unusual.

Worries were expressed a year ago within Latino communities across the country of how to sustain community momentum when it looked like criminalizing the undocumented was imminent.

Recent marches in other towns have failed to replicate what happened a year ago as well.

Why? Is it because people have lost interest or the drive to make a point to government officials about undocumented immigrants?

No. What has happened since last year are several things that are greatly impacting this year's participation at rallies:

First, a lot of the people who skipped work and marched last year are bound not to repeat that mistake. Reports surfaced after last year's rallies of workers who were either docked pay, suspended, and in some cases, even fired from their jobs for joining the marches.

Secondly, surprise ICE raids have many of the undocumented nervous and on edge. Knowing that ICE agents could be nearby the marches, fewer people are willing to risk the chance of being such easy prey for them.

Thirdly, in addition to providing a public forum about the status of undocumented immigrants, in hindsight, we are able to attribute these same marches to providing an impetus for backlash directed towards undocumented immigrants.

It wasn't until the very public marches that some of the most notorious of the city ordinances outlawing undocumented immigrants from being hired or renting housing came into effect.

And fourthly, what we have all seen is that, short of declaring war on a country, Congress lives within its own time zone — taking its time to deal on issues that tear the country apart.

Many people are feeling that another march, rally or boycott isn't going to make a difference and that it's now up to Congress.

And it is — to a point.

The only thing that could draw out people in the same numbers as last year is if Congress passes a bill that would require the self-deportation of over 12 million to comply with the new rules.

Should that happen, no one will feel intimidated or feel the need to take a wait-and-see attitude — because then time will be in short supply and hope will have turned into desperation.

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Causes

More in Causes

Housing-3-e1437061733568

Affordable housing proves hard to come by in one Texas town

Latina ListaJuly 29, 2015
MalaFama

Crowdfunder: Changing the vision of women’s sports in Mexico one frisbee at a time

Latina ListaJuly 29, 2015
diversity

Crowdfunder: Creating diversity among start-up entrepreneurs

Latina ListaJuly 28, 2015
Prodigal Daughter

Crowdfunder: Sharing via film a journey from undocumented immigrant to successful artist and citizen

Latina ListaJuly 27, 2015
Philanthro

Crowdfunder: Bringing fresh air to consumers and a fresh start to world’s orphans

Latina ListaJuly 23, 2015
raisingtheroof

Crowdfunder: Racing the seasons to get a roof built for Honduran medical center

Latina ListaJuly 22, 2015
kvn1fox4x0gnuavaokmo

Crowdfunder: Preserving the only surviving remnant of Little Spain in NYC

Latina ListaJuly 21, 2015
studentsencuentro

Crowdfunder: Helping students weed out sweatshop conditions in farm fields attend 2015 Encuentro

Latina ListaJuly 20, 2015
DreamingCasually

Crowdfunder: True life story of Chicano rock legend Little Willie G

Latina ListaJuly 16, 2015