LatinaLista -- At about 6 this evening, busloads of people from El Paso, Houston, Waco, the Rio Grande Valley and Fort Worth began filtering into the chapel of the Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas, TX. Church staff estimated that there were over 300 people.
Dallas was the central meeting place for the Texas Caravan for America delegation on their way to participate in Sunday's March for America in Washington DC for immigration reform. Anecdotal reports put the Texas Caravan as being the largest contingent of marchers outside the East Coast.
Marchers sat alongside media in the chapel for a press conference/pep rally. One by one, speakers took the microphone -- clergy, representatives of other faiths, young people and two citizens who shared their personal stories of losing a loved one to a potential deportation.
Throughout the weekend, Latina Lista will post videos of the speakers but one speaker asked the audience an interesting question:
"Why are we going to spend 28 hours on a bus to spend less than 24 hours marching and then spend another 28 hours to come home?
For immigration reform!"
With people losing work days, school and separated from their families, the question summed up the motives of everyone in the room.
Dressed in uniform white t-shirts, person after person gave the same response when asked why they were making the long trek to DC only to look forward to sleeping on the floor of a church once they got there -- for immigration reform.
Spirits were high as people dragged pillows and luggage onto any of the five buses and three vans parked in the church's parking lot designated to ferry the marchers to DC.
Preliminary reports say that over 100,000 people are expected on the National Mall in DC on Sunday brought by 900 buses from 35 states.
They not only bring high hopes with them but are delivering a clear message to Capitol Hill that they're tired of waiting for Congress to deal with an issue that will never be "politically safe" but is the right thing to do.