TYLER, Texas — A group of East Texans gathered Friday for "Lights for Liberty" to protest the conditions of migrant facilities on the border.
"Regardless of your race, your cultural differences, we're all still human," Democratic Club of Smith County member Rhonda Brinkley said. "It's easy for us to say, 'that's not my problem', but who's to say that two, three, ten years down the road, it does become our problem."
Brinkley joined other members of the club at the Tyler Chamber of Commerce for a postcard party. It was the second of four planned locally.
"We're all in this together," Brinkley explained. "It affects across every race, every culture, men, women, children, so it's not just one person's problem, it's an overall problem for the country."
Those attending were varied in backgrounds but shared a common goal.
"I'm here to kind to help spread the word and let people know this is wrong and this is happening every day," Democratic Club of Smith County member Avery Miller said.
Miller says he has not visited, but has spoken with other members in the club who have. Among those is Dalia Renoso.
“We all keep in contact, and [Dailia] will do a lot of live videos and you can tune in that way," Miller explained. "We’ve actually seen the conditions and how it is, and she shares her stories with us. By her talking earlier, it broke my heart and brought tears to my eyes, just imagining someone not having a place to go.”
In recent weeks, club leader, Nancy Nichols, says the group has hand-delivered 75 signed petitions to each of the local offices of Senator Ted Cruz, Representative Louie Gohmert and Representative John Cornyn.
She says they have also mailed 75 postcards and letters to their offices located in Washington D.C.
However, Nichols says they have not received a response from any of the three Congressmen.
"I feel very disappointed, very belittled, and I feel upset," Miller said. "It makes me outraged that there are these people that all they're looking for is asylum over here, and they're not able to have basic human rights, which I think is wrong."
Nichols encouraged members of the group to donate to the cause to nonprofits and organizations helping at the border daily like Catholic Charities, Raices, and The Holding Institute.
"Just a small ripple by one person. It may be small but when you have many people doing it, it makes a wave," Brinkley said. "I’m not saying that you have to go and change your whole view overall, but at least stop and take a look of your surroundings, and be aware.”
At noon, members from the club joined 'Honk for Peace' on the Tyler Square to display the posters made in the party.
At 7 p.m., they will join other local organizations in a 'Lights for Liberty' rally and vigil at Heritage Plaza in Longview.