Mario Ramirez of Milwaukee helped carry part of a homemade statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe that bobbed in the massive crowd headed toward the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement building Sept. 21.
Though the Guatemalan immigrant is a permanent resident of the United States, he went out to march for immigration reform along with those who descended on Washington for a “Welcome Back Congress” rally seeking to bring issues of social justice, including climate change, to the attention of lawmakers.
But the issue that drew the largest crowd was immigration.
Thousands took to the streets of Washington, making a stop at an ICE facility before heading to the U.S. Capitol, urging that Congress and the president take action on immigration reform.
Rally participant Ramirez said he’d been able to adjust his immigration status after fleeing his native Guatemala because of war 34 years ago, “thanks to other groups that fought” for immigrants like him.