DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The organizers of the Immigration Reform Mega March in Dallas are hoping for a big turnout on Sunday afternoon, expecting some 100,000 people to walk through the streets of downtown.
Organizers and participants are calling for an end to executive orders discriminating against Muslims and what they say are “aggressive” deportation efforts by the federal government.
Dallas Mega March Coordinator Domingo Garcia said, “I think it’s important that as many people as possible come and send a message to Washington D.C. that it’s time to pass immigration reform, that using immigration as a wedge tactic doesn’t work and it only divides Americans, as opposed to bringing us together.”
Those going out to participate in the march and rally are being encouraged to wear red, white and blue.
The record for the largest civil rights march in Texas history was set back in 2006. That rally drew half a million people.
Large crowds like these create a giant security challenge for the Dallas Police Department. After the Dallas police ambush last summer, and other attacks like the Boston Marathon bombings, extra measures are being taken to make sure that the Sunday event remains peaceful.
Police watch towers were already in place early Friday morning, and Homeland Security agents toured the city’s public transit rail lines even earlier in the week. Organizers insisted that police, federal agents and other law officials were preparing for any safety issues that might arise.
“Our goal is to be peaceful and to conduct this march in a peaceful way,” explained event coordinator Hector Flores.
The Immigration Reform Mega March runs from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon and ends with a big rally, at approximately 3:30 p.m., at the Dallas City Hall plaza.
Extra security measures are being taken along Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) rail lines, the march route and at Dallas City Hall. Dallas police have already put up a watch tower nearby.