Walk Aims for Pathway to Citizenship

November 1, 2013 | WFYI | Link to article

For the next four days, a group of faith and community leaders will be walking around Central Indiana to raise awareness about creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented Hoosiers.

Multi-faith organization IndyCan is hosting a 48-mile pilgrimage which will include vigils in Indianapolis, Carmel, Noblesville, Lapel and Anderson.

Cynthia Perez is one of the participants and an undocumented resident.

She moved to the United States with a visa when she was young.  Her grandfather was a citizen and petitioned for her after the visa expired, but says her application has been pending since 1999.

Perez hopes the walk will inspire state congressional leaders to move quickly on the issue.

"Through the sacrifice that we are making by walking the almost 50-miles throughout those four days, we hope that will make an impression on people that haven't really decided whether to support a pathway to citizenship or not," said Perez.  "(We hope) that they will listen to the stories that we carry throughout this pilgrimage."

The effort will have11 pilgrims walking to represent the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

"If it would mean going back to Mexico for maybe one week and getting the paperwork done, I would be willing to do that," said Perez.  "But, I think that there is a way - and there has to be a way - for me and for the 11 million people that are waiting for this pathway to citizenship to be able to stay here in the U.S. and do all the paperwork here."