Activists in the state of California began a remarkable journey to march as many as 285 miles from Sacramento to Bakersfield in order to support immigration reform. Eleven individuals marched for a total of two weeks on foot and were joined by two new activists along the way, NBC Latino reports. The march came to an end on Sunday, September 1st.
“I am exhausted,” says activist Estefany Mendez. “I have never done anything like this and it was definitely hard to keep pressing forward. However, thinking of all the people that are dying daily crossing the desert and not having a nurse to take care of them was what kept me going.”
The proposed federal Dream Act would offer a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants that arrived in the United States before the age of 15. Activists, however, are trying to push for that reform to be applicable to all immigrants irrespective of their age, hoping for the creation of affordable and fast citizenship for every immigrant in the country. Pilgrimage for a Pathway to Citizenship sponsored the march in the hope of it reaching the office of Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy.
“Kevin McCarthy is a very important Congressman,” march participant Dr Gonzalo Santos says, noting that McCarthy holds the number three spot within the House of Representatives. Up until now the House of Representatives has been standing in the way of immigration reform, and McCarthy is the current House Majority Whip. The activists did not meet McCarthy, but left their shoes outside his office on an altar in a symbolic gesture.