Several hundred immigration advocates walked this year during the annual Holy Week Pilgrimage to show their support for immigrants all over the world.
According to an article in the Marietta Daily Journal, about 300 people trekked from Smyrna to the Marietta Square Thursday.
People who are members of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church have been participating in the eight-mile walk for six years. It starts out at the church’s Smyrna location and ends in Marietta Square.
The MDJ reports that cars passing by the walkers honked their horns in solidarity as the group –
a mix of church members and people in the community – carried a cross through town while wearing white T-shirts that read “I was foreign and you welcomed me.”
The yearly walk comes this year in the midst of a heated presidential campaign with the topic of illegal immigration at the forefront. Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has brought the issue front and center.
One of the walkers, a native of Mexico who became a citizen five years ago, told the MDJ there a perception that immigrants are undocumented or uneducated, but she believes most come to America in search of a better life. She said she came with her family to America because her parents wanted to give her a better life and she seeks the same for her own children.
“This is pretty much for every immigrant in the world – not just Spanish immigrants,” the walker said in the MDJ article. “God wants us all to get along, especially with all that’s going on…people are scared,” she said. “We shouldn’t see people from the outside. To do that, you have to show the world love, peace and respect.”
Two other marchers were Kennesaw State University students. They told the MDJ they were walking peacefully to raise awareness about the topic of immigration. KSU junior Victor Aguirre has been attending the marches more than five years and compared it to marches Martin Luther King Jr. held, the article reads.
Another walker compared the event to praying with your feet.