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Four DREAM Act students create their own Trail of Dreams

LatinaLista — When it comes to the illegal immigration issue, there is one group that is the most vulnerable — the children. Coming here at young ages, not choosing this life for themselves, but fully assimilating, as children do, they are the ones who are torn and frustrated because they feel like the only country they’ve ever known is abandoning them.

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It goes against every lesson they learned in school and what they were taught to believe was possible, and impossible. These children have grown up and are now classified as the “DREAM Act” students.

For all their lives, they’ve waited for Washington to reform immigration law, or at least pass the DREAM Act, which would legally acknowledge what they have always felt in their hearts and minds — that they are U.S. citizens.

Well, the waiting is drawing to a close.

Four Florida DREAM Act students, Felipe, Gaby, Carlos and Juan, have undertaken a journey that rivals any journey they took when they were younger to arrive in the U.S. with their families. Setting out on January 1, 2010, the four exceptional students are walking 1500 miles from Florida to Washington D.C. in what is being called the Trail of Dreams.

In their own words:

We walk to share our stories, so that everyday Americans understand what it’s like for the millions of immigrants, especially young people, unable to fully participate in society. It’s time that our country come together to fix a failed system that keeps millions in the shadows, with no pathway to a better life.
Our journey will be long and full of hardship, but for us, we see no other option. We are putting our futures in jeopardy because our present is unbearable.

What these students are doing — challenging Washington to recognize them — is a very scary task and while they have the support of one another, their families, friends and three organizations sponsoring their walk —, Florida Immigrant Coalition and Students Working for Equal Rights, it can still seem like a lonely trek.

That’s why supporters who believe in these students’ cause cannot only donate much needed money for them to continue on this journey but walk with them as well — virtually.

The web site has a section where supporters can “walk” with these four brave students by signing up as a supporter and sending them comments that they will be able to read along their journey.

The students are also keeping up a blog of their walk writing down their feelings, their impressions and whether or not it’s all worth it.

Felipe writes:

I cannot deny that I feel homesick; my muscles hurt and my feet are full of scars. If I don’t spend time putting all my energy on the present, I wouldn’t be able to achieve my end goal. In my heart, I know that every time I lift my leg and plant my feet on the asphalt, I am getting closer to realizing a communal dream that all of us take part in.

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  • Jenifer Fernandez Ancona
    January 21, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks so much for highlighting this campaign Marisa. These students are such an inspiration, and I hope more people will join them and follow their journey. The task they have chosen is a difficult one, but I think they demonstrate the only kind of courage and sacrifice that can produce real social change!

  • Beast
    January 21, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Looks like their long walk will be for nothing, with Brown winning in Massachusetts, there is no chance of immigration reform. Hope they wore some comfortable shoes.

  • oscar
    January 26, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    good job guys…keep fighting

  • Gina
    February 3, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Keep fighting guys you are bringing hope to all those who are awaiting for the dream act to aprove. What you guys are doing is very brave and i will pray for you guys to make it to washington safe, and for the dream act to aprove. keep doing what your doing in the end it will be worth it. Have faith, with faith a lot can be acomplished.

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