Hundreds attend Downtown Dallas vigil for refugees

Hundreds of people of all faiths packed Thanks-Giving Square in Downtown Dallas Monday night for a refugee vigil in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order.

The crowd included religious and community leaders as well as those who work in programs that help refugees.

As day turned to night, people continued to pour into Thanks-Giving Square to support immigrants and their families caught up in the travel ban, including Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and at least two city council members.

Hundreds of candles illuminated the sky over this interfaith vigil, filled with people from all different ethnic backgrounds.

One woman, whose organization helps immigrants resettle in North Texas, said last week a Syrian father and his two children came to Dallas legally to start a new life. Their mom had to stay in Syria for a few more days for health reasons. But because of the travel ban, she's now unable to join her family in the U.S.

“I just feel for the refugees that are trying to come in for safe passage, those that have already gone through vetting, have gone through the process legally and are detained in airports,” said Jo Mondo. “I just think that’s the beginning of it, and there's more to come.”

“We’re Latino. So to change something in the United States, we have to be united,” said Adrian Fernandez. “I feel at one point we're going to need the Muslims’ help, anyone's help. So we're here to support them. Then next week, it could be us. You never know.”

And while they may not have been as vocal as protestors at DFW Airport over the weekend, there's also many Americans who support restricting certain individuals from entering the country.

One man, who described himself as a conservative activist, says while he doesn't necessarily agree with the approach President Trump took with this executive order, he does believe immigration reform is very much needed.

“We continue to see a steady stream of stories about folks who are very real victims of our loosey-goosey approach to who comes in and who goes from our country. And I think there is need for some changes in that direction. I'm convinced of that,” said Ken Emanuel. “It's somewhat more of a closer question to folks who have been here a long time. They’ve been contributing to this community, and they've never had a parking ticket in their life. Is that a priority? It's not a priority to me.”

This issue has clearly hit a nerve with many people. One man at the vigil said President Trump is inadvertently mobilizing this nation and bringing people out of complacency and into the streets to make their voices heard.

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