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Presidio marches against border wall, Muslim immigrant ban

March 2nd, 2017 under Home Story Highlight » Top Stories
(staff photos by JOHN DANIEL GARCIA) Children on bicycles led the way through Saturday's No Wall No Ban March along the parade route in Presidio. The march was organized to protest President Donald Trump's border wall, Muslim travel ban, and Syrian refugee ban.

(staff photos by JOHN DANIEL GARCIA)
Children on bicycles led the way through Saturday’s No Wall No Ban March along the parade route in Presidio. The march was organized to protest President Donald Trump’s border wall, Muslim travel ban, and Syrian refugee ban.

By CAMERON DODD

cameron@bigbendnow.com

PRESIDIO — More than 50 Presidio and Big Bend area residents marched through town Saturday morning in opposition to proposed Trump administration plans for a border wall and in solidarity with those affected by recently enacted immigration restrictions.

The march started at the flagpoles near the Cibolo Creek bridge and ended at the steps of Presidio City Hall, where a number of people gave impassioned speeches. The City of Presidio Police escorted the marchers as they made their way down Highway 67 toward the port of entry and along O’Reilly Street chanting, “Texas is for all” and “Tejas es para todos.”

“Don’t give up, don’t get tired, don’t get complacent,” Presidio Mayor John Ferguson told the crowd from the City Hall steps. Ferguson has been a vocal Trump critic and a long-time proponent of closer ties between Presidio and Ojinaga. “I think we’re starting to see the result of our actions together as a people … There’s nobody who is going to convince [Trump] of anything other than the masses of people standing up against him.”

Presidio's No Wall No Ban March concluded at Presidio City Hall, where several protesters spoke about issues surrounding the border and immigration under the Trump administration.

Presidio’s No Wall No Ban March concluded at Presidio City Hall, where several protesters spoke about issues surrounding the border and immigration under the Trump administration.

Presidio’s proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border made U.S. President Donald Trump’s pledge to build a border wall the more pressing issue. But the marchers also took aim at executive orders signed by Trump last month barring immigrants and asylum seekers from seven Muslim-majority countries including Somalia, Syria and Iran.

A similar march organized in Presidio after the November presidential election garnered national media attention. Presidio and area residents marched to the middle of the international bridge where they were joined by Ojinaga residents. Saturday’s march was at least twice as large.

On January 20, more than 100 Mexicans from Ojinaga and other parts of Chihuahua protested on the international bridge, demanding to be treated with dignity by Trump, who that day was being inaugurated in Washington, D.C.

Brewster County native Molly Walker at the No Wall No Ban March in Presidio.

Brewster County native Molly Walker at the No Wall No Ban March in Presidio.

In addition to personal relationships strained by border security and immigration restriction, Presidio’s economic development plans hang largely on the city’s proximity and relationship with Mexico. The Texas Department of Transportation is still seeking a presidential permit from the U.S. State Department for expanding the Presidio-Ojinaga International Bridge, and Texas Pacifico Transportation is pushing through with plans to rebuild a railroad bridge over the Rio Grande that burned down in 2009.

A group from the Two Rivers Camp, a Native American-led movement in opposition to the Trans-Pecos Pipeline, joined the march.

“Don’t be afraid, don’t think just because you’ve grown accustomed or okay with dealing with certain things doesn’t make it right,” Two Rivers Camp leader Frankie Orona told the crowd at Presidio City Hall. “We need to get rid of those fears and come out and stand together to make a change, for a better future for generations yet to come.”

Area elected officials are starting to hear the concerns of border residents about the potential for a wall to be built along the Rio Grande. The Brewster County Commissioners Court passed a resolution in February opposing the construction of a border wall in the area. During the Presidio County Commissioners Court meeting on Monday, Commissioner Lorenzo Hernandez requested a similar resolution be added to commissioners’ court’s next agenda.

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One Response to “Presidio marches against border wall, Muslim immigrant ban”

  1. Ascension says:

    As much as we can all agree with the sentiment of neighborliness and family connection, those qualities are not lost just because they are to be moved to controlled and safe entry portals, rather than being left to subjecting good people who wish to enter the U.S. to risk their lives and their families’ among those dangerous byways used criminals and traffickers who DON’T wish to enter the country for good reasons.

    We must help the good people wishing to enter by getting them out of the desert trafficking lanes and safely across the border with visas, just as we enter into Mexico.

    Yet, now one must ask. Just how is blindly protesting and calling for wide-open borders and the breaking of U.S. laws helping anybody? How is this NOT the sowing of seeds of anarchy? Where is the sense in that? Who in their right minds would involve their children in that?

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