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April 29th, 2010
12:00 PM ET

Immigrants walk 1,500 miles to stop deportations

(CNN) – A group of undocumented immigrants is hoping to have a voice in the immigration debate. They just walked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington, hoping to publicize and stop the deportation of young undocumented families and students now living in the United States. They called their journey "the trail of dreams" and they joined us on Thursday's American Morning.

Read more: Immigrant groups to challenge new law

Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Pam E.

    A few things are very evident reading over these comments.

    First of all, all of you that are so filled with hate and so ready to deport ILLEGAL aliens, as you so fondly and loudly point out, are very ignorant. I would be willing to put money on the fact that most of you, minus the individual that worked with but maybe never spent time with his illegal co-workers outside of work, don't actually know a single illegal immigrant. I bet you don't know very many people that are different from you at all. That is why it is so very simple for you to name call and disassociate from the issue.
    Here's a challenge: get to know AT LEAST one person that is living in this country illegally, as a FRIEND not someone you are observing or at arm's length, and then tell me what is so horrible about them. You selfish, priviledged Americans. Never want to share. These people would put you to shame with how hard they work and how intelligent they are.
    Second, THE ISSUE IS NOT ONLY ABOUT MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS. In fact, none of these 4 individuals are from MX. Maybe you should watch the video again and listen to what they are actually saying. Then you can stop talking about them walking back to Mexico since that is clearly not their country of origin.
    There are immigrants from all over the world hoping for the DREAM Act to pass. I participated in the march to D.C. on May 1st. Not all the immigrants hoping for reform are Latino. They are from Haiti, Africa, Asia, Europe. Open your eyes to the people all around you in the U.S. You can help them assimilate, but first you have to get over your racism and close-mindedness.
    Our country invited immigrants for years – think about Ellis Island. Our country is made up of immigrants!! All of us white people, are of (mixed) European descent. If you have a problem with immigration reform – with treating people as human beings – then we should leave too and give the land back to the Native Americans. Have some empathy with people wanting a better life. Your ancestors built that for you here on this soil. How could you be so selfish? What makes you so much more entitled to be here? What makes you, immigrant, so much more "legal" than our current immigrants?
    Really, nothing does.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  2. oliver1

    I think it is great what they are doing! There are a lot of honest, hardworking people that are getting stopped at bus terminals outside and inside the busses by ICE agent for no reason whatsoever in Miami -Kendall Stations ( and all over Miami) . Some people have been outraged by the Arizona law, but here in Miami it is an everyday reality stopping people on bus stops and public transportations getting taken away . People getting profiled and stopped for looking Latino. I am sick of it, we need some kind of reform this "reasonable suspicion" = Latino discrimination.

    May 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  3. Jimmy James

    Why is the US so lenient to Illegal’s and so ready to punish real Americans? I worked for years in a California Grocery store where I made friends with all my co-workers. I found out more than say 8-10 Mexicans that worked with me all were all illegal and had fake Social Security Numbers and IDs. I watched one of my co-workers (illegal immigrant) over the years get into a gangs and drugs. He's been arrested for selling drugs several times under his fake names, and eventually ended up killing someone that he thought was in a rival gang. Happen to be a normal kid walking home from school!!! All he received was 3 year in jail and then got deported. 1 year later he's back in the US with guess what a fake social and new Alias. Oh yeah he Also he got a 16 year old girl pregnant.
    This isn't just happening in one city, I’ve lived in San Diego, Orange County and Riverside County and its all the same!!! Our boarders need to be secured to the fullest!!! We need to hire more boarder patrol agents and finish the wall we started to build. If not we might as well build more bilingual prison’s. At least then we'll create more jobs for Americans and have some where to put all the illegal criminals. WTF America. Wake Up!!!!! Where the minute men when you need them?

    May 4, 2010 at 7:44 pm |
  4. Glenda

    I would ask all of you who have reduced the discussion of this issue to a call for all undocumented immigrants to leave, walk back, be deported–whatever–to really try and understand what is going on here. It's not simple; it's not easily solved; and it's not one group's fault (legal or illegal). It's complicated and will take years to figure out. Do your best to put yourself in other people's shoes and walk wherever they have walked. I think many of the comments on this story lack an understanding that these people were brought as children.

    May 3, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  5. Charles


    Sec. 211. [8 U.S.C. 1181]

    (a) Except as provided in subsection (b) and subsection (c) no immigrant shall be admitted into the United States unless at the time of application for admission he (1) has a valid unexpired immigrant visa or was born subsequent to the issuance of such visa of the accompanying parent, and (2) presents a valid unexpired passport or other suitable travel document, or document of identity and nationality, if such document is required under the regulations issued by the Attorney General. With respect to immigrants to be admitted under quotas of quota areas prior to June 30, 1968, no immigrant visa shall be deemed valid unless the immigrant is properly chargeable to the quota area under the quota of which the visa is issued.

    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 212(a)(7)(A) of this Act in such cases or in such classes of cases and under such conditions as may be by regulations prescribed, returning resident immigrants, defined in section 101(a)(27)(A) , who are otherwise admissible may be readmitted to the United States by the Attorney General in his discretion without being required to obtain a passport, immigrant visa, reentry permit or other documentation.

    (c) The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to an alien whom the Attorney General admits to the United States under section 207.

    IF THEY DON'T HAVE IT, BRING IN THE BUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 3, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  6. bucko2009

    Gee, if they walked 1500 miles (and I don't believe that) they should have gone WEST from Miami. THey would have been that much closer to the border. I would have been more than happy to donate for a bus to get them there sooner. Altho, if our govt actually did it's job, ICE should have been there to 'help' them along!!

    May 2, 2010 at 7:15 am |
  7. Jose W.


    I am brazilian too. I am proud of our country that is now one biggest economy in the world and also oil power. We have many universities and colleges in Brazil as you know with high standard of quality, such as Sao Paulo University, Campinas University, Largo do Sao Francisco University, Rio de Janeiro University, etc... Also, Sao Paulo University is now one of the best university in the world. I think you need to know more about Brazil and update your information about it. I am proud of being brazilian. I am lawyer, I have a good life, and I am happy here. Brazil needs people like you who wants to study and growth. America is crashing, a lot unemployment, the american dream doesn't exist any more and is looking more a third world country. The rule have changed in America. The American standard of living is going down. An estimated 46 million Americans have no health insurance, and millions more have coverage with high deductibles or huge gaps in coverage, and can't afford medical costs out of pocket. If you are looking for a great job, with a great company, with great benefits, that you will have your entire life, until you retire, stop looking.That job doesn't exist anymore for 99% of the workforce in America. Brazil is taking off. We are so proud because Brazil is doing well. It's improving more and more.

    May 1, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
  8. Teresa

    Sadly enough it seems that you have each missed the point behind the "Trail of Dreams." It is when we generalize, stereotype and group people together that we lose our gift of empathy. The students represent the voice of countless others who did not ask to be here. They arrived to this country as children and were raised as Americans. To deport them back to a country they do not recognize as home is irresponsible. These are good people with great intentions and amazing futures...instead of oppressing them, we should celebrate their efforts and allow them to pursue the American Dream for they are just as American as we are.

    May 1, 2010 at 10:30 am |
  9. Lafenmom

    The Mexican unemployment rate is lower than the US at this point. The biggest labor problem they have at this point? No middle class – most government services are done by private companies who have rates so high that most folks can't afford them.

    Sounds familiar.

    May 1, 2010 at 6:11 am |
  10. Lafenmom

    ...and for the folks who think it's fine that some come here to undercut wages by accepting less than the federal minimum wage and living 10 to an apartment so they can afford it, here are a couple of thoughts for you...

    First, read 'Grapes of Wrath''s about a time in our country before minimum wage laws (and the reason they came in to effect), when the corporations of the time were able to use the bad times to force folks to fight each other for work. When a man would accept working for ten cents an hour because the other guy couldn't feed his family for less than 11. They also made it so you have to 'buy at the company store' which always left them owing more than they ever made.

    You don't think we could go there again? Really? We're already to the point where most couples work two full time jobs, a lot have part time jobs as well just to keep a roof over their heads and food in their kids stomach. There is no "American Dream" for the minimum wage worker, but we're expected to make sure illegal aliens have one.

    And, since they earn SO much money with three jobs, they don't qualify for the state aid they see illgal aliens getting (since the federal government has banned the hospital from asking them for proof of ID).

    They send their kids to schools that have 15 kids per class, where the teacher has to spend half of the class time teaching in a foreign language. Their kids may graduate high school but will have to spend the first year of college taking remedial math, english, and science classes if they go.

    We need to remember how hard our ancestors fought to make this country as good as it is... how most of us have to fight every day still to just try to maintain some sort of a regular lifestyle.

    Finally, do you really buy the story that all of Mexico is poor and desparate, with no way to make life better?

    Better get to know Mexico a bit better there folks.

    April 30, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  11. Jennifer M.

    Felipe, I am so proud of you. I miss you a lot and you are doing great things! I know you will pursue your dreams. Congrats, keep up the good work my friend! Love, Jen

    April 30, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  12. Bruce t

    I'm sorry, I don't really care how far they walked to get a voice in the debate. If they are not legal citizens, they have no US rights. The few do not mandate to the many. (except where the US government is concerned). Arizona has the right idea.
    I'm all for immigration, the right way. If you sneak in, you get thrown out, period.
    There is no acceptable response for illegal immigration. Do I wish everyone in the world had a better situation? Sure.
    Is it my country's responsibility to provide a better life for them? No. Is it my money that should be used to teach Spanish in American classrooms? No.
    Should my tax dollars be spent to provide medical care and health care to someone that broke into this country illegally? No.
    If they want to debate and protest, how about they all go home to protest and debate and fix their own country, instead of demanding we create rules just for them.
    My Question: If a crook broke into your house, would you feel obligated to feed, cloth and provide medical to that crook? How is this different?

    April 30, 2010 at 11:52 am |
  13. Satara

    If somone is here illegally they are breaking the law. It's a joke if your illegal and you are still in the country walking from Miami to Washington....Am I missing something can someone have a Voice if their not a "Citizen".

    April 30, 2010 at 10:47 am |
  14. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    These four people should be easy to find when they come back South maybe they should stay up North .

    April 30, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  15. Frostbytn

    I don't understand the issue.
    If they are here illegally, they are breaking the law.
    If they don't have a social security number, they aren't paying into that, or most of the taxes that keep or government and other services going.
    These people cost us money, I know they undermine the wages of people that work in construction, I could work for 30% less or more, if I didn't have taxes and SS taken out of my check.
    I don't think most of the immigrants are bad people, I have worked with people with green cards, they have every right to find work where ever they can.
    The people we are worried about offending, are the ones that are intentionally circumventing our laws.
    Intentionally breaking our laws.
    If we find illegals and they have a family or can prove they have been here for several years and led a productive life, give them a visa and a set amount of time to become a citizen.
    If an illegal lives in an area where they have been there for years, goes to work everyday, and hasn't been in trouble with the police before, then most likely the illegal won't have any trouble.
    If you drive the same route everyday, shop at the same stores, eat at the same eateries, then the police see you everyday and don't see you as a threat or anyone of interest.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  16. Josh

    And one other thing who cares what shaquira thinks just because shes a celeb she has no political experience if she was illegal id say arrest her to.. I think that its ridiculous all these states and company's like the MLB boycotting arizona this is supposed to be the UNITED STATES if one state does something the rest are supposed to back its play..But no of course not its all about money and votes everyone who is against the law is profiting from illegal aliens or counting on hispanic votes for midterm elections "DEMOCRATS"... Obama knows hes gnna lose the house and senate majority in november so hes trying to get all his controversial bills through before november that way he has all his partners in CRIME to back him.. I 110% support this law!

    April 30, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  17. Doug

    to the illegal allien, the undocumented worker: i know there will be people who are going to hate what i have to say, i will be called heartless, and a racist, which i am neither, but when are the people of mexico going to stand up for themselves in their own country. instead of changing the united states, change mexico. bring the standards of mexico and central and south america up to our standards and maybe just maybe you won't want to leave your own country except to maybe be a good neighbor and just come for a friendly visit, legally. here i see you on the news, you walk off your jobs and schools to protest in the streets of America, when you should be doing that in mexico. make the world proud of you, make yourselves proud of eachother and gather the courage enough to do in mexico what we have done already for ourselves in the united states of america.

    April 30, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  18. Josh

    If those 1500 are here against the law then arrest and deport them thats what I say theres a reason its called ILLEGAL

    April 30, 2010 at 8:12 am |
  19. jane doe

    Quick comments:
    1. WHO CARES what Shakira thinks? Who IS Sharkira to Americans anyway? Does she even live here? She was hardly an effective communicator, and she is certainly no advocate for the voice of American people. The Hispanics are trying to find ANY person with an Hispanic last name to stand up for the illegality and disrespect which they are imposing on American / Arizonian citizens, and whereby this simple minded thinking might do in the Hispanic culture, it is NOT working in the U.S. of America culture.
    2. CNN, PLEASE begin to be more judicious in your reporting of this story. Demonstrations held by literally hundreds or in some cases a few thousand people across this nation of 330 million is not impressive. OVER 70% of the Arizonians, and OVER 65% of ALL AMERICANS, agree with the AZ law. Where are their / OUR faces? Where are their / OUR stories in your reporting? There is a real reason WHY people are standing by and beside the laws made by this courageous AZ Governor. Many of us are looking to our own states being overrun and overwrought with the problems that come with illegal immigration, and I can not wait for the mid-term elections, let alone the national elections, to dare any politician to cross this line. Democrat OR Republican. It would be a shame that Pres Obama lurched the American People in so many controversial ways, in order to bring us a bit forward in our objectives, only to lose us finally, because he is more interested in protecting the illegal. It would be an outright shame that his allegiance is not with the hard-working, decent, morally righteous, tax paying, law abiding, blood sweat and tear CITIZEN of this nation. We didn't just disrespectfully waltz over the border because we couldn't solve our own countries unlawful problems. Some of us, to include our grand-grand-grand parents, and mothers and fathers, worked, formed, shaped, died, and gave and give of ourselves to insure a land of prosperity and freedom for all, who come to the country with a firm and genuine interest in the country to enhance it. Not merely to feed off of the sweat, labor, and lives of others. To leetch out and deplete monies from social programs that OTHERS earned for their senior futures. People who sacrificed their fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends in on-going conflicts. No, it is not that I have no sympathy for the situations of some of these people who come under their meager circumstances to the U.S., but I have more compassion, sympathy, and obligation, for my American brother. I also maintain a deep regard, and an overall respect to the word of law, and my citizen duty to uphold the laws for the American person in accordance to the Constitution. i am against any altering, modification, or compromise, (to include amnesty) to foreign lawbreakers, who are trying to re-shape, re-form, and re-constitute what it means to be "American."

    April 30, 2010 at 7:15 am |
  20. Lafenmom

    Are you KIDDING ME?

    The next time a cop sees these people, they need to arrest and deport them. What part about ILLEGAL do they not understand?

    What gives them the right to protest ANYthing in my country???

    The more of these protests I see/read/hear about the more I jump on the Shut the Doors bandwagon.

    The ones who ARE caught and ticketed to appear in court DO NOT go back...they IGNORE the court order! Just like they ignore the immigration law.

    What happens if I, a citizen, ignore a court order? I get a warrant placed for my arrest and do jail time and pay fines. Why am I a second class citizen in my own country?


    April 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm |
  21. Ron

    Yet again spreading the "undocumented immigrant" lie; these people are ILLEGAL ALIENS, period

    If they wish to become U.S. citizens, well and good...let them abide by the law, return to their native countries and get in line....if it takes an additional ten years, too bad. That would be the consequence of their ILLEGAL action. They should be deported without delay; the fact that they, and many others, are not reveals the weak and ineffective failure of I.C.E..

    April 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  22. richard donnay

    i am an immigrant .like any other nationality we came legally by the request of some establishments here in america,,in return as a favor they gave us an immigrant status which good oppotunity to us.As of being part of American Society,,we abide any law in the united states.But speaking about illegal citizen that they should have the right to protest well im not favor with them,If they hav stayed for quite long time here they were very lucky,, but give them what they want wow thts too much already,,they have taken something already which belongs to ligitimate citizens of united states,i would not mention them one by one.Illegal is part of crime and its the internationall law.Just what i have experienced in my own country which really belongs to us but what happened is we are invaded by illegal alliens that is contolling the economy and some of them are now in politics which is hard to implement the law againts them because theres someone would oppose againts it especially if it would demoralized their agenda,Thats why U.S government should pay attention to this illegal alliens otherwise it wil turn out the same with my native land.If it didnt happen for us to come here legally,.then maybe we are still there and wait and wait that maybe theres someone in the government would give a favor to original citizens that they would benifit anything from the govt.Its very simple answer,,they will earn some bucks which is to be meant for someone who really need it.Do they pay taxes in order to make a profit to each municipality,, or the one who is legal is the one paying for them instead.Illegal can go to hospitals for free but legals have some difficulties if wont arrange your insurance regularly.How about their pay its always under the table,,maybe their employers will benifit from them because they both make transactions illegally.If anybody who are consenting this anomally should also face deportation.If we give sympathy to this,,then we cant move on instead we will fall down slowly,,thy will fry you in your own oil,For example in my own land,Some illegal alliens often caught by selling and trading goods in some busy streets and there price half priced than the one who has legal establishment and pays regularly,They dont even speak our language nor speak little english,,and guess what they have no legal identity at all it seems like thy were dropped from flying saucers,Then after few years if they have enough to pay their financers,,its time to change their status,and they speak our language but sounds funny different.Then after they now have the right to make bussiness,,,. from illegal to legal.Then they will send their children to high standard college & universities to have the highest qulity of education and later be use againts you ,,,that would benifit them and if thy become politicians,,thy will use the theory to make their name more fragrant.I dont point it to all but it really do exist from day to day.The only thing we want from the government is to treat us equally if we are ligitimate citizen,,dont lok at the color of our skin,give us equal oppotunity and we will return back the favor toyou by following evry law,as what we can do for the country and what the country can do for us

    April 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  23. Janet Hansen

    I have no problem with illegal immigrants such as these who have learned the language, become productive citizens, and who are not a drain on our social and medical systems. I do have a problem with those who refuse to learn the language and make demands for rights that they are not legally entitled to. In California, illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition rates, but someone from boarding states – Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona – must pay out-of-state rates. That seems hardly fair to penalize legal citizens and give breaks to people here illegally. California also spends a great deal of money printing ballot materials in Spanish. I thought naturalized citizens had to know English., The marchers who were on this morning are the kind I have seen deported all too often – and that is a crime. But I have no sympathy for the others.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
  24. John C- Chicago, IL

    It's amazing to me that we actually allow illegal aliens a voice in this debate, particularly after they themselves have broken the existing law(s).

    April 29, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  25. birdy

    that's about as long as they walk to cross the border illegally.

    April 29, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  26. bobby

    Well here is 1500 to send back and they admit guilt. Good. Why should we change the rules for these folks. You come here YOU OBEY OUR LAWS OR GO HOME. IF NOT WE WILL SEND YOU HOME. All other creeds follow the rules and obey the law but NOT YOU. So in OUR culture you want to be a part of you are defined as a CRIMINAL and WILL BE DEPORTED.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  27. R. Mussared

    Why is CNN so sympathic to these illegals? What about the cost to our country these people are causing? CNN is so slanted, it makes me sick. What about the rancher along the border who was killed? What about the jobs they are taking away? What about the illegals who drive accross the border and enroll their illegal children in our public schools? Health care cost are driven up by illegal immigrants flooding our emergency rooms, and who pays? WE pay! It is not fair to US, the US Citizen! Citizens FIRST. the people of this country, who belong here, are all sick and fed up with it! They SHOULD be DEPORTED. I have NO sympathy for these people.

    April 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  28. HernandeUSA

    They are walking in the wrong direction.

    They need to get on a plane and head to their home country and protest from there..

    For many thats south of the American border.

    April 29, 2010 at 12:38 pm |