McAllen, Texas (ValleyCentral) – Holding signs, chanting, and wearing masks, LUPE organizers held a peaceful demonstration outside the McAllen bus station.

LUPE organizers described it as “a chain of protection.” The protest was formed Monday morning as a show of solidarity for immigrants.

Signs embracing immigrants and welcoming them surrounded a part of the bus station sidewalk. Chants like “Si se puede” started by guest speakers echoed through the crowd.

One of the many signs at the “Chain of protection” demonstration is held up in front of the McAllen bus station. (KVEO photographer Sal Castro)

The demonstration comes as a result of the many attacks immigrants have come under recently, said Anna Sanchez, Rapid Response Digital Organizer for LUPE. A belief many of the demonstrators are actively fighting. Hoping to give a more positive message, members of the community came out united to show their solidarity.

A sign in Spanish saying “Familias Unidas” translates to ‘families united.’ (KVEO Photographer Sal Castro)

“It means that we are here and putting in our time, effort and collectively are trying to protect everybody in the immigrant community,” said Sanchez.

Having the community come out and show their support meant a lot for Sanchez, who believes that the community will always stand for justice to immigrants.

Demonstrators line up a part of the sidewalk outside the McAllen Bus Station. (KVEO Photographer Sal Castro

Those at the demonstration say they feel the attacks stem from the recent increase in COVID-19 cases.

As a guest speaker to encourage people to take the vaccine, Dr. Michelle Cordoba Kissee says the blame is due to “white supremacy”.

“It’s our system, we’re always taught to blame brown people, we’re always taught to blame poor people, we always need to point a finger,” said Dr. Cordoba Kissee.

Dr. Michelle Cordoba Kisse speaks at the “Chain of protection” demonstration encouraging people to take the Covid vaccine. (KVEO Photographer Sal Castro)

Her hope is that more people will take the vaccine, separate fact from fiction, and not continue to place the blame on immigrants. And most importantly to let people know that the vaccine is safe.

The demonstration was held to show immigrants that they are not alone, said Sanchez. “No matter the circumstance, no matter what our government tries to put in place, we are here in solidarity, and we are here to lend out a hand.”

Photos by KVEO photographer Sal Castro.