It’s been just five days since hundreds of people protested the Trump administration’s immigration policies in the Denton town square. On July Fourth, the annual Yankee Doodle Parade marched past the same spot.
To those watching or marching in this annual parade, Independence Day means pretty much one thing: freedom.
“It means that you’re like independent and can do stuff and you’re like free, I guess,” says 14-year-old Taya Webb. Her 13-year-old Denton United soccer teammate Sarai Puente agrees: “I guess, you’re like free.”
Santiago Ramirez says for some who aren’t citizens, it doesn’t necessarily work out that way.
“People come here for freedom,” Ramirez says. “And it’s not necessarily guaranteed, unfortunately. But I think with the right connections or right ways, it can happen.”
Debbe Sagui says it’s time for something to happen, when it comes to fixing the current immigration system. She sits in the shade with her little girl, Sofi, and mother-in-law, Rosie, who emigrated from Mexico 50 years ago.
“We all have a good life,” Sagui says. “Other people should share in that as well. But it needs to be a better process. Stop all the ugly, negative, critical talk of each other. It’s all of y'alls fault. It’s Democrats, Republicans, everybody. They’ve got to work together and put their differences aside and be adults.”
On July Fourth, a lot of adult issues get put aside. Kids and those who want to be young again turn to other thoughts — like fireworks. Only there’s a burn ban in effect for Denton and nearby counties because of the dangerous hot, dry conditions. So, Jerry Gallamore of Corinth is going to play by the rules.
“I’m kind of the old man shaking his fist on the lawn,” Gallamore says. “I’ve become that guy. So I’m not going to shake the rules. Like, I don’t want my house caught on fire, so I’ll be the guy if it says it’s the rules, in city limits, don’t do it.”
But if you are going to set off your own fireworks in the backyard, at least be responsible, Ashleigh Countryman says.
“Just be extra careful,” Countryman says. “We had fireworks the other night and we had a big truck with a tank in the back of water just in case anything got out of hand, and just be careful. Don’t be dumb.”