Trump backers rally on Woodward in support of border wall

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Bloomfield Hills — One day after the end of a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government, about 100 supporters of President Donald Trump wrapped themselves in American flags and strapped on MAGA hats to rally along Woodward Avenue on Saturday for a wall along the nation's southern border.

The Oakland County Republican Party hosted the "Build the Wall" rally in Bloomfield Hills in collaboration with women from 100 Percent Fed Up, a conservative online media group. 

One lone counter-protester holding a sign reading “No wall” competed on the sidewalk against signs reading: “Build the wall,” “Call your rep,” “Stop the invasion,” and pictures of brick walls held by supporters, mainly from Oakland County. 

Across the sidewalk from the demonstration, a lone counter protester Warner Mach, of Beverly Hills, makes a stand.

Patty McMurray, co-owner of 100 Percent Fed Up, helped organize the event hoping to show that women support the wall, too. 

“Women are concerned about the safety and security of our nation and one of the things I’m most passionate about is the jobs that are being lost to our nonlegal citizens,” said McMurray from Birmingham. “I don’t have any problem with people coming here to look for a better life. I think they should look to America as the beacon of hope, but there’s nothing wrong with doing it the right way.”

McMurray said the wall would benefit border security and ranchers who live and work on the border. 

“I saw the stories and that’s when I got involved because no one living in America should fear that drug cartels or people bringing legal drugs over or bad people are coming through their land,” she said. "If you sit here long enough, you’ll see a ton of people are going by and blowing their horns. Every once in a while we’ll get someone who gives us the finger, but there’s huge support for this and this isn’t an issue people don’t feel passionately about.”

Armida Castellanos from Waterford braved the 10-degree weather to hold up her large white sign rooting as cars honked passed her to show that some Hispanic residents also support the wall. Castellanos’ grandmother resettled in America from Mexico and had her daughter in Texas. Her grandmother became a citizen, while her father, also from Mexico, had to return because he only had a temporary visa. She said she hopes others would follow the system as they did. 

“I never got to really know my father, but I believe that people shouldn’t come over illegally,” said Castellanos, 82. “If they want a better life, there’s a way. I’ve visited my half sisters in Guadalajara and have met many people there. I feel empathy for the people and understand, but the thing is we can’t have the whole world coming over. 

“We love Trump because he’s strong and keeps his promises,” she said. 

Rosemarie Guerrero Wright from Auburn Hills said the government shutdown was worth it if it means the border wall will be prioritized. 

On Friday, Trump agreed to a to reopen the government for three weeks, backing down from his demand that Congress give him money for his border wall before federal agencies get back to work.

“It’s sad that it has to come to this because it seems like he’s trying to deal with (Democrats) and if you look at the figures, he’s asking for so much less money to accomplish this mission and their just being stubborn,” said Wright, 64. “It’s not good for our country but it’s worth it. He’s got to make a stand.”

Organizers have not yet planned another Build the Wall rally, but wanted to bring attention to the diversity of like-minded people on the issue, McMurray said.

“It’s people from all different walks of life,” McMurray said. “It’s not just like a certain type of person who are racist who don’t want people coming here. That’s not it at all. I think most people understand that’s what makes America great is the diversity of our nation. Without that, we aren’t really America… We just want people to do it legally.”
Twitter: @SarahRahal_