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El Paso Faith and Community Leaders Hold March and Vigil for Human Dignity

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El Paso, Texas — In contrast to much of the fear-mongering, purposeful chaos, and dehumanizing of immigrants in the news, El Paso faith and community leaders held a march for human dignity in downtown El Paso yesterday. Hundreds gathered in San Jacinto square and marched to Sacred Heart Church in remembrance of the 40 migrants who were killed in a fire in the Ciudad Juarez migrant detention center on March 27, 2023. The vigil, march and remembrance comes amidst the ongoing legal fight over the Texas SB4 law and related legal whiplash and attempts by the State of Texas to close down faith-based immigrant serving organizations like El Paso’s Annunciation House.

According to Mario Carillo, Campaigns Director for America’s Voice who grew up in El Paso and attended last night’s vigil: 

“As an El Pasoan whose family was welcomed to this community as immigrants more than 30 years ago, it was heartening to see people from my hometown showcase their compassion towards migrants arriving here today. The state of Texas has launched unprecedented attacks against organizations that work everyday to welcome people with dignity and respect and this rally showed once again that people from our vibrant borderland won’t be deterred from continuing to welcome people. The El Paso community showed that the border is not a prop to be used for political gain, but instead a binational and bicultural region that highlights the best of us.”

Photos and videos Mario captured from the rally are available here

Tony Gutierrez reports for KVIA News: “the purpose of this march is to reaffirm the welcoming Borderland identity of El Paso, protect the rights of those seeking to migrate, and remember those who have died on their path to the border.”

As El Paso County Commissioner David Stout said during the event, “Governor Abbott and the state of Texas need to stop meddling in federal affairs and stop wasting billions of dollars on failed policies that are only focused on enforcements and deterrents.”

Aimee Santillan, policy analyst with the Hope Border Institute, told ABC-7 “We hope to get the community more aware, involved, and invested in the effort for a more just, helpful, and efficient immigration policies. Like I said, our community is a community of migrants.”

Gaby Velasquez for The El Paso Times documented the march and vigil in photographs (available here).

KTSM 9 News reporting shows hundreds gathered to show support for migrants and asylum.