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Undocumented students begin cross-country trek

March 10, 2012 |  2:05 pm

A group of undocumented students and their supporters Saturday began a cross-country walking journey from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., to advocate for the passage of the Dream Act.

The eight-month walk began just before 1 p.m. with marchers crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. The trek is meant to draw attention during the election season to the proposed federal legislation, which would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are college students or military service members.

The marchers are expected to arrive in Washington shortly before the presidential election.

One marcher, Lucas Da Silva, 23, a student at Valencia College in Orlando, Fla., said he came to the U.S. from Brazil as a 1-year-old.

“We really wanted to [do the cross-country walk] during the election year, and try to reinvigorate and advocate,” he said. “We wanted to  launch our own campaign based on love and opportunity.”

Jose Gonzalez, a student at San Diego Mesa College who came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was 5 months old, said he is starting the march with the group but won’t be able to complete it because he has to return to California later this month for a deportation hearing.

He said fears that some people have of illegal immigration are understandable.

“That’s what we want to shatter,” he said. “We’re all human beings. We’re trying to cope together, live together.”

RELATED:

Mitt Romney says he would veto DREAM Act

California Dream Act's opponents gather signatures

Silicon Valley leaders take up the Dream on behalf of young migrants

-- Paloma Esquivel

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