April 1, 2010: Triangle Community Welcomes Immigrant Students Walking the East Coast for Just Immigration Reform

Contact:
Erin Krauss, UNC Graduate Student intern with Reform Immigration for America; (828) 273-0927 or
Rebecca Fontaine, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, (781) 277-1314, Rebecca@SCSJ.org

Durham, N.C. – Four immigrant students walking 1,500 miles from Miami, FL to Washington, D.C. will arrive in the Triangle this weekend as part of their “Trail of Dreams” to demand just immigration reform. Peers at UNC-Chapel Hill are hosting the group and immigration reform supporters will be walking with the students for parts of their journey.Several organizations are also hosting events and dinners to support the effort and the message.

North Carolina, like other southern states, has seen a significant increase in deportations, workplace raids, and barriers to higher education for immigrant students.

“We hope to share our own experiences as immigrant students with the larger community, and to explain the fear and pain that detentions and deportations cause within families,” said Gaby Pacheco, one of the walkers. “We seek real solutions to fix our broken immigration system and to stop the deportation of students just like us who know the United States as their only home and want to make it prosperous for all.”

Pacheco and the other students: Felipe Matos, 23; Carlos Roa, 22; and Juan Rodriguez, 20, started their walk on January 1 to raise awareness about the need to reform the U.S. immigration system; they are expected to arrive in Washington, DC on May 1.

The Triangle community will welcome the walkers by hosting a number of events to promote dialogue on the issue of immigration reform and access to education for all immigrant students.

Saturday, April 3: Walk begins at 7:30am at the McDonald’s at 105 E South St, Raleigh; lunch will be held at the Fruit of Labor World Cultural Center at 4200 Lake Ridge Dr.
Monday, April 5: A 12:00 noon rally at the Wilson Library at UNC, then the walk kicks off at 1pm at the Franklin Street Post Office and ends at 5:30pm with a community dinner at CAARE, 214 Broadway St., in Durham.
Ron Bilbao, chair of the North Carolina Coalition for College Access said, “The Dreamers are an inspiration. Their presence at UNC, the nation’s first public university, shows their commitment to achieving educational access for all students. We welcome them with open arms.”

To follow and support the Trail of DREAMS’ campaign, send a text message to: 3-0-6-4-4 with the word TRAIL.

For more information and biographies on the Dream Walkers visit www.trail2010.org