Dozens Start 4-Day Walk In Manchester To Bring Attention To U.S. Immigration Policy
A group of about 40 began their journey in the rain in front of Immigration and Customs Enforcement offices in Manchester. They'll end up at the Strafford County jail in Dover.
Organizers from several faith-based groups have protested and led prayers outside the Norris Cotton Federal Building for about a year now. They say this action represents a bigger step towards bringing attention to immigration policy in the U.S.
“Our walk also mirrors the trip that an immigrant who is detained at ICE would take, from the ICE building to the detention center in Dover,” says organizer Sarah Jane Knoy of the Granite State Organizing Project.
An interfaith group is leading the action. Father Sam Fuller is with St. Anne - St. Augustin Parish, just a few blocks from ICE offices. He says he's seen more than one church member detained while going about their day in recent months.
"Seemingly innocuous, everyday experiences become twisted and perverted and turned around into this horrific ordeal," Fuller says.
The walk begins just a day after Border Patrol agents staged an immigration checkpoint on Interstate 93 in Woodstock.
"Most people, they have different perspectives, and it’s hard to agree on something as hard as this topic,” says David Barragan, a teacher living Manchester who heard about the walk on Facebook. “That's why we're doing things like this, to show people that we need to keep working.”
In the first half mile the group experiences one heckler, but with 11 miles left to go for the day, they press on.