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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Day of action

 
 

A sea of white lined Bryan streets Monday afternoon, as more than 1,000 people of all ages marched in a peaceful protest against HR 4437.
The proposed legislation would bring stricter restrictions to the United States’ Mexican borders and crack down on illegal immigrants in the U.S.
Protesters walked from Parker Street to Lucky Street, holding signs in English and Spanish. The protestors, who wore white to symbolize peace, said they were marching to support illegal immigrants in the United States.
The march, sponsored by St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, coincided with the Day of Action, a national event promoting immigration reform, said Daniel Osorio.
“This is not just Bryan, and it’s not just Texas,” said Osorio, president of Jovenes Inmigrantes por un Futuro Mejor (Young Immigrants for a Better Future). “More than 60 cities in more than 30 states are doing marches today.”
JIFM is a student organization supporting equal education opportunities for immigrants. To correspond with the march, JIFM spread information to others on campus Monday afternoon. Organization members passed out flyers and displayed signs reading, “Education for All.”
Forty-one states do not allow students to attend college if they are undocumented citizens even if they have lived in the United States for most of thief lives, said Osorio, a junior marketing major.
“In Texas, (undocumented students) are allowed to attend college but they won’t be able to work in the U.S. even if they graduate with a 4.0,” Osorio said.
Some individuals at the march spoke in favor of the Dream Act, a proposed congressional act that would give certain illegal immigrants the ability to attend college and apply for citizenship after they graduate.
“The Dream Act . . . will allow them to go to college in all 50 states,” Osorio said. “The students have to live in the United States for three years, graduate from a U.S. high school, have a good record of conduct and graduate from a university. When they get a degree they will be allowed to live in the United States.”
Immigration policy affects the University directly, Osorio said.
“We have fellow Aggies who . . . won’t be allowed to work when they graduate,” he said. “We don’t think that’s fair. One friend recently graduated from the accounting program at Mays Business School with a 3.8 GPA. She now has her diploma on her wall and helps her mother clean houses.”
A Bryan resident who wished to remain anonymous said she had never seen a protest of such magnitude in the Bryan-College Station area. Certain restrictions should be put on those entering the country, the resident said.
“I’m not against them, but if they’re going to be here they should be here legally,” she said. “They should speed up the process to get a green card, something like that. I have a friend who has been working to get a green card for 10 years.”
Frank Jackson, mayor of Prairie View, said he attended the march to support what he believed to be one of the greatest human rights movements of our time.
“This is a historical event, the world is watching this,” Jackson said.
Although the government’s decision will not be easy, they must listen to the people, Jackson said. President Bush’s proposal to build a wall separating the United States from Mexico should be discarded, he said.
“The wall didn’t work in Germany and it’s not working in Israel,” Jackson said. “They need to stop it, just stop it. Folks here have lives. You can’t just kick them to the curb.”
Joel Woodward contributed to this report.

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