FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Immigrant Students Walking
From Miami to Washington, DC
Arrive in Richmond
Local Community Gathers to Support “Dream Walkers,” who are Asking President Obama to Stop Deportations of Students
Join the campaign by sending a text to: 3-0-6-4-4 with the word TRAIL
WHAT: Trail of DREAMs Welcome in Richmond, Virginia
WHEN: Thursday, April 15, 3:30pm
WHERE: Virginia Civil Rights Memorial, located across from the Governor’s Office on 1111 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA – Four immigrant students who are walking on a four-month, 1,500-mile journey from Miami to Washington D.C. are stopping in Richmond on Thursday, urging Virginia officials to support them in their request that President Obama sign an executive order that would stop the deportations of undocumented students. The students are also urging Congress to pass the DREAM Act, which would give undocumented students with good moral character a pathway to U.S. citizenship.
The students will gather with supporters for a rally and press conference at the Virginia Civil Rights Memorial. “We are in the last stretch to Washington, DC,” said Felipe Matos, a 23 year old undocumented student part of the Trail of DREAMs. “Throughout our journey, we have seen children being separated from their families due to unjust laws such as the 287(g) program, which are enforced in different parts of Virginia. This program criminalizes people like me who's only mistake is to work hard to achieve academically and socially.”
Matos and the other students – Gaby Pacheco, 25; Carlos Roa, 22; and Juan Rodriguez, 20, left Miami on January 1, 2010. Local faith, labor, and student organizations throughout Virginia are supporting them as they make their way through the state, working to find them food and accommodations, as well as connecting them to the community so they can share their stories and learn from others.
"We are honored to host and support a group of students who are working towards a change in our laws that will not only benefit them but will help thousands of children and young adults in pursuing their dreams," said Jeffrey Limones from La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). "We invite the community to join in the discussion of access to higher education for all students and to meet and listen to the message of the DREAM Walkers."
At 5:30pm, the Trail of DREAMs will participate in a public forum at VCU Larrick Center to discuss their journey and issues relating to the DREAM Act. For more information, please visit www.trail2010.org.