Hundreds rally in San Antonio to protest Trump administration's 'zero tolerance' policy

Group in support of policy gathers at Travis Park

SAN ANTONIO – Hundreds of thousands of people are rallying across the country Saturday to protest the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" immigration policy.

While the main rally is being held in Washington, D.C., San Antonio protestors gathered in downtown to express their opinions on immigration.

One group was rallying in support of the Trump administration in Travis Park with about 50 participants. The second group with several hundred participants gathered at Main Plaza, rallying against the zero tolerance immigration policy.

Viri Diani Carrisales, with San Antonio Rise, said the Trump administration is continuously attacking the immigrant community and refugee community.

“Those actions of the administration to try to reunite families are not really true,” Carrisales said.

Less than a mile away, Dr. Alma Arredondo Lynch said the group she was a part of gathered at Travis Park not because they are anti-immigrants, but because “we are here for legal immigration. Not illegal,” she said.

“There is so much turmoil and there is a lot of divisiveness, and right now there is a lot of political hostility,” Arredondo Lynch said.

Arredondo Lynch, who said she is proud of her Tejana heritage, said she supports the administration’s immigration policy.

“I’m an American first and a Tejana second. I have rich roots in Mexican heritage, but my family has been here for five generations,” she said. “We are not anti-immigration. We are anti-illegal immigration. We need to make a decision.”

Carrisales disagrees. She said that, at one point, she was an undocumented immigrant. She and the hundreds that gathered at Main Plaza want the immigrant community to know there are people who are fighting for them, especially to keep immigrant families together.

“We need to stop and have an end to any type of detention centers that exist in this country. Families (who) are here, they are escaping violence in their own country,” Carrisales said. “Being a refugee and asking for asylum is not a crime.”

Arredondo Lynch believes Americans and taxpayers have been put on the back burner, saying undocumented immigrants have been falsely victimized.

“No, they are not victims,” Arredondo Lynch said. “When parents send their children unaccompanied to the United States, why should it be the responsibility of the American citizens, to support and make sure their well-being is at the utmost primary concern?”

Carrisales said when she immigrated illegally with her mother at 11, she couldn’t imagine being separated at such a young age, and because of that, she won’t stay silent.

“I know that our immigrant community is resilient, and I want our community and our immigrant families and children who are at the border (to know) that they have a lot of people who have their backs,” Carrisales said. “They have a lot of people who will fight and not be silent until something happens.”

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