At the end of the month on San Antonio’s near west side, thousands of people will march from Guadalupe Street into downtown for the annual Cesar Chavez March.
For 17 years the Cesar Chavez Legacy and Education Foundation has held the annual March for Justice in the heart of the West Side. In his years of living there, District 5 councilman David Medina Jr. said he’s seen the march have a large impact on residents.
"That tells me that that they’re in tune and listening and playing an active role in the issues of today, and that’s exactly what we need for the future because these are our future leaders," Medina said.
As Congress continues to debate an immigration compromise, Foundation chairman Jamie Martinez said the theme of this year’s march will be comprehensive immigration reform.
"Common sense immigration reform that includes rights for farm workers that pick the crops in the fields that would give them an access to citizenship, and also for the young people that came here at a very young age. This is the only country they know, the dreamers," Martinez said.
Mario Salinas is one of those dreamers. He’s 20 years old and came to the U.S. when he was 9 from Torreon, Mexico. He was able to come out of the shadows last year during president Obama’s deferred action initiative.
"I can finally say I have a legal status," Salinas said. "It might not be for permanent, but I mean it just gives me hope. It’s a first step."
He hopes that when people see the march they will understand that they want the same rights and responsibilities as U.S. citizens.
"We also work hard, we’re also human beings, and work hard like them and just hope that we can have a chance like them," Salinas said.
This year's March will be on Saturday March 30.