KNOXVILLE (WATE) Dozens of people marched through Knoxville’s downtown to send a message: a message of peace, unity, and most importantly, support for Dreamers and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as DACA.
“We have to support the dreamers,” Mary Thorpe said. “They deserve a place in America. They are industrious. They are going to school, they’re working… why break up families?”
People of all ages rallied in Knoxville to show solidarity with America’s dreamers.
“We wanted to come out and show our support,” Rosie Toledo, organizer of the event, said. “I know immigrants and the immigrant community is feeling quite beat up and we want to show numbers and say we’re here. Knoxville, East Tennessee loves you and you’re welcome here and we’re here for you.”
Another objective of the march is to express opposition to plans to rescind the DACA program.
“There are 8,300 people at UT who are at risk of deportation,” Whitney Gulledge, Community Outreach Director for the UT Spanish Club, said. “If legislation does not get passed to defend DACA which President Trump has said is his intentions… we’re here to raise awareness to support the dreamers.”
Bill Thorpe is a United States and says the country should be a nation of opportunity for all.
“I fought for this,” Bill Thorpe said. “These people were brought over as infants and they don’t know another country. They are Americans and to send them back to a place they don’t know, they can’t speak the language, is a crime.”
Marchers say they hope the rally will also send a message to legislators and encourage them to back the cause.
“If it weren’t for immigrants, none of us would be here,” Mary Thorpe said. “They do make America great.”