Robyn Gee on Friday, Feb. 10th
The Campaign for an American Dream (CAD) is starting to make some buzz on the West Coast, as four young undocumented residents prepare to walk from San Francisco to Washington D.C., in an attempt to raise awareness along the way about the DREAM Act and Immigration rights.
The DREAM Act is a piece of legislation that would allow undocumented youth to get on a track to citizenship by going to college or being in the military. Many young people find out that they are undocumented years after they have moved to the U.S., and then realize that their pathways to becoming employed or continuing their education are blocked. Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who revealed that he was undocumented, and became a spokesperson for the undocumented population. You can watch his statement of support for the Campaign for an American Dream on their website.
The four walkers are between 22 – 26 years old, and from different parts of the U.S. They are converging in California in the next couple of weeks where they will participate in a day of lobbying in Sacramento and a protest at Travis Air Force base. Then they will make their way across the country for an estimated seven months. The walkers depart on March 10 and plan to arrive in D.C. in late October.
According to Jesus Guzman, Chair Emeritus of the CAD Finance Committee, and co-director of DREAM Act Alliance for Sonoma County, the walkers will not be doing the same thing in every city they visit. The campaign is leaving it up to each city to receive the walkers in a unique way. “In Colorado, they want to do work around a for-profit immigration detention center, so the walkers will contribute by holding a demonstration there. It’s up to the individual communities what they want to highlight,” said Guzman.
Guzman said they planned their arrival to coincide with the presidential election momentum, in order to raise awareness about immigration issues as people go to the polls. “Depending on how the elections fall into place–that will determine how we can respond to issues. During election season there’s so much that can happen,” said Guzman.
Stay tuned for an interview with a CAD walker and details on their route.