Marchers Speak Out on Immigrant Rights
"There's a lot of racism. I'm also an immigrant. I'm Jamaican. I've been in California for 26 years. There's no justice. I feel strongly about this."
Pat Thomas, California
"I wanted to see how to organize a big group. I want to protest what's going on with the law. I want to see if this can make a difference."
When asked why she marched, Ms.
Lee pointed to the words on her sign:
"Because we believe."
"We are for immigration reform. When I first came in 1970, I experienced prejudice."
Amanda Wesley, originally from Liberia
"We are a civil rights group, a national organization. We are working on the Arizona law. That law is not protecting us, but legalizing racial profiling. That's not protection."
Eling Lam, Missouri, originally from China, Organization of Chinese Americans
"I'm supporting the rights of immigrants to be here. I have no personal interest. We all have human rights. We are all God's people."
Tryphenia Speed, Georgia
"We are members of United Methodist Women. We feel we should be here to support immigrants and especially women and children."
Connie Yocum, Pennsylvania
"They are separating families. That's not right."
Donna Lykens, Pennsylvania
"United Methodist Women has been one of our best partners working with farmers. In North Carolina, four other events are happening today. Because of the law in Arizona, people are coming out and saying, 'We won't stand for that.' This is the civil rights struggle today."
Church and Community Worker Alexandria Jones, North Carolina, the National Farm Workers Ministry
"We want to help and support immigrants. One step forward could help."
Hae Shin, Maryland, immigrated from Korea 40 years ago
"Because we are Hispanic, we fight everyday for the recognition. And the word of God tells us – No, commands us – to do right to our neighbor. We help the poor among us and welcome them all."
Janie Reyes, Indiana
"Especially in this political climate, we are taking steps backwards, and we need to march forwards. It's a great chance to show our solidarity."
Lourdes Manning, Indiana
*Mary Beth Coudal is the staff writer for the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.