Written by: Mo Goldman, AILA Media-Advocacy Committee

Over the past century, a handful of people have walked across the United States for a variety of different causes.  The struggle for comprehensive immigration reform has finally spawned a walk that will take four individuals on a journey across the United States beginning on March 10, 2012.  At high noon, Jonatan Martinez, Lucas Da Silva, Nico Gonzalez and Raymi Gutierrez will embark on a 3,000-mile walk from the Golden Gate Bridge to Washington D.C.  The Campaign for an American Dream (CAD) was developed as a means of creating “dialogue around the passage of the DREAM Act and immigration reform with the values of equality, unity, and diversity.”  I call on everyone who believes in the need for immigration reform to sign-on to support this cause, to contribute to it and to follow the walkers along their journey.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform has been a long time coming and, as the days and years pass us by, the struggle to live a normal life becomes more difficult.  This is especially noticeable with the passage of xenophobic state-based restrictions.  In spite of the struggles, many are coming up with creative and courageous ways to bring the need for immigration reform to the forefront.  Over two years ago, a group of brave students (Carlos Roa, Felipe Matos, Gaby Pacheco, and Juan Rodriguez) walked from Miami to Washington D.C. in their Trail of Dreams.  Across the U.S., numerous undocumented persons are risking their own freedoms as a means of drawing attention to their plight.  They are becoming more and more outspoken against state anti-immigrant policies and the need for congress to act now.

…Talking the Talk

The CAD walk will also spread valuable dialogue amongst many communities across the U.S.  The walkers intend to dispel myths about immigrants and why we need CIR.  The kick-off event will feature a speech by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and advocate Jose Antonio Vargas.  Other thought-provoking discussions are planned along the way.  This is not only about the symbolic walk across the country but also to bring the conversation to many communities.

On the CAD 2012 website, you can read about each of the walkers and hear their personal stories.  Lucas Da Silva explains why he is putting himself out there for this cause:


I stand with confidence of a better future today because I have chosen

to shed my fear and take up arms for the families and youth that live in

fear and hide in the shadows. I cannot sit idly by as we are oppressed by

the current immigration laws that are separating our families and destroying

the hopes of our youth. Tired of lying, hiding, running, and crying, I choose

to fight for the people that suffer.

Along with the website, you can also track the CAD on Facebook.