Marchers walking from De Anza Park north of downtown Wednesday to city hall united about 600 to rally in support of immigrant youth and their families.

The rally, which lasted about two hours outdoors at city hall, had protestors holding signs, including: "Immigrants Welcome" and "One Race! Human!"

Speakers called on demonstrators to defend DACA and end the separation of families. They also chanted "no border wall" and "sanctuary city now."

Speaker Najima Rainey strongly called for the city council to make Tucson a sanctuary city, saying council members did not deliver on making it so.

During the rally, Mayor Jonathan Rothschild thanked the crowd for voicing their concerns and said their voices must be heard by Congress.

Inside city hall prior to the demonstration, Rothschild offered support to those covered by DACA and said the city remains committed to making sure all residents receive full protection under the law as guaranteed by the constitution.

In an interview, Vice Mayor Regina Romero said she supports Tucson becoming a sanctuary city, but some council members fear that it would make Tucson a target in terms of retribution from the Trump administration.

Romero said what is more important than the label is the specific policies the council has adopted, including strong stances against the border wall and SB1070. She also noted changes in police policies that impact better relationships in working with immigrant communities.

Romero said she did not know whether the policy declaring Tucson a sanctuary city will be revisited after the November election. 

Wednesday's march is the second day of demonstrations in Tucson by students and organizations in support of immigrants who fall under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The federal policy began under President Barack Obama's administrtion in 2012 and protected immigrants who were brought into the United States illegally as children.

Nearly 800,000 young immigrants had a reprieve from deportation and were able to work and drive. Every two years, DACA immigrants had to renew their work permits.

President Donald Trump's administration announced Tuesday morning they would end DACA, and that Congress needed to act on revamping immigration laws.

Demonstrator Stephany Garcia, 21, said she came to the rally "to support my people, my community, mi raza (my race)". She said she has friends who are protected under the DACA program. "I feel sad about what has happened," said Garcia in regards to Trump rescinding the program.

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Garcia said she also has "faith in God", and just maybe Congress will enact better immigration laws.  

Before the rally, Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank, senior pastor at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway, said her grandmother wanted her children to have religious freedom. She was a Protestant in Mexico in the 1930s, and she left Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua and gave birth to a son in the back of a bar.

That baby boy grew up to be "my father and a Lutheran minister," said Escobedo-Frank. "I am a granddaughter of an immigrant who wanted the American dream. This is the land where immigration is ground zero. We live in a tight web that stretches along the U.S.-Mexico border, and we either know loved ones who are immigrants or loved ones who are going through he immigration process," Escobedo-Frank said.

She said "it is our Christian faith and tradition to stand with immigrants." Escobedo-Frank said Trump did not have to begin dismantling the DACA program while Congress begins to overhaul immigration laws.

"There is no need to create a fear factor for these young people. That is wrong. It is cruel and inhumane," Escobedo-Frank said.

On Thursday, Sept. 7, there will be an informational forum about DACA in the cafeteria at 5:30 p.m. at Pueblo Magnet High School, 3500 S. 12th Ave.

On Sunday, Sept. 10, there will be a candlelight and prayer vigil at 6:30 p.m. to support DACA and Dreamers at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway.   

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at or 573-4104. On Twitter: @cduartestar