Students Stop in St. Augustine During 1,500-mile ‘Trail of Dreams’ Walk for Immigration Reform

Community leaders and residents gather at event in support of 1,500-mile ‘Trail of Dreams’ walk for immigration reform

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, January 18th, the walkers of the “Trail of Dreams” will be arriving to a place of great significance to the civil rights movement – St. Augustine, Florida.

Walking in the spirit of nonviolence practiced by Dr. King and many others before him the walkers will commemorate this revered day and remind the world that the injustices of our broken immigration system can and must stop now.

Community leaders and residents of St. Augustine, Florida will hold a rally to honor the four Florida students who have embarked on a “Trail of Dreams” walk from Miami to Washington, D.C., which is being undertaken by the students to raise awareness about the urgent need for just and humane reform to our country’s immigration system.

“I’ve gone to school and worked hard because all I want is to give back to the only country I know as home. But I can’t – there is no pathway for me,” Juan Rodriguez, 20. “The reality of my life is proof that we need to fix our failed immigration system with solutions that uphold American values.”

Rodriguez, who like all other walkers is a member of Students Working for Equal Rights, the group of youth organizing the Trail, also said it was important for the community to come together around the walkers because they are risking their lives to bring attention to an issue of great importance and urgency.

“Raids and detentions have risen dramatically in the past year, more and more families are being separated -including some of our families- and life under our current immigration system is unbearable for these students and for millions of others,” Rodriguez said.

About the Trail of Dreams

On January 1, 2010, four brave students – three of whom are undocumented immigrants – embarked on a 1,500-mile walk from Miami, FL, to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness about the impact our failed immigration system is having on their lives, and on millions of others.

The four walkers – Gaby Pacheco, 24, Carlos Roa, 22, Felipe Matos, 23, and Juan Rodriguez, 20 – were all brought to the U.S. by their parents when they were children, and have all excelled in school and as community leaders. Despite their success, they have spent their childhoods in fear and hiding, unable to achieve their real potential. They are calling on our nation’s leaders to fix the system so that people like them who want to work hard have an opportunity to gain an education and participate fully in society. To read more about the walkers, please visit

The Trail of Dreams will stop in cities in towns throughout Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia to engage in dialogue with residents and local leaders – including key Congressional offices, as well as pro and anti-immigrant groups. They are expected to arrive in the nation’s capital on May 1. About the event in St. Augustine, Florida

What: Rally to meet the walkers, hear their stories, and commemorate this important day in the history of our nation with several guest speakers, such as, Dr. Roberto G. Gonzales from the University of Washington When: Monday, January 18, 2010 from 4:00 to 5:45pm

Where: Plaza de la Constitution (28 King Street, St. Augustine)

Who: Trail of Dreams walkers, St. Augustine residents, guest speakers, as well as statewide and nationwide supporters

Why: To show support for Trail of Dreams walkers and highlight the stories of how our country’s failed immigration system affects immigrants in St. Augustine, Florida


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  1. […] equality. During the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday, the Trail of Dream walkers held a press conference in St. Augustine, Florida, a pivotal site for the civil rights movement during […]

  2. […] equality. During the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday, the Trail of Dream walkers held a press conference in St. Augustine, Florida, a pivotal site for the civil rights movement during […]