Thousands march for immigrant rights in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — San Antonio School District students walked out of classes April 10 along with students from Alamo District to protest the immoral Sensenbrenner bill, HR 4437, which would criminalize many immigrants as “illegals” and anyone who would try to help them. The students chanted, “No immigrant is illegal.”

Students, teachers and union members, including members of the Machinists Union, were joined by priests, nuns and thousands of other residents in a march from El Mercado to Hemisphere Park. They were part of a national explosion of political protest against HR 4437 and similar anti-immigrant bills under consideration in the U.S. Senate. Flags of the United States, Mexico, Texas, and the U.S. Marines were carried by many Mexican immigrants who have risked their lives for the country. No one asked if they were “illegal” then.

Students said that walking out was an education. It showed unity and respect for their grandparents and parents and those who have died in the desert. “Bush does not like us because we are brown,” one student said. “We (Mexico) are the closest Third World country,” said another.

A common theme of the signs was “Justice with dignity.” Other slogans included, “We are not criminals, we are not illegals, we are international workers,” “We pay taxes too,” “When it becomes a crime to help the poor, I will be first in jail,” and “Stop the wall of death!”