Undocumented Students Face Down Georgia Sheriff
By Jessica Lee
March 3, 2010
Lawrenceville, Ga.-Four immigrant students walked into Gwinnett County
Courthouse March 3 wearing shirts reading "undocumented" and demanded to
speak with Sheriff R.L. "Butch" Conway about the need to reform the U.S.
The four students from Florida - Felipe Matos, Gaby Pacheco, Carlos Roa and
Juan Rodriguez - are walking 1,500 miles from Miami, Fl. to Washington,
D.C., in a five-month campaign named "Trail of Dreams" to raise attention
about the current immigrant condition and to pressure President Barack Obama
and Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform.
The students were not detained by the sheriff's office. If the students had
been arrested, they could have faced deportation.
Conway has been a vocal proponent of "287(G)," a federal prevision
authorizing local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration laws. The
Trail of Dreams says that this policy has resulted in the deportation of
hundreds of immigrants from Gwinnett County in just the past three months -
policies that the student walkers say are oppressive and discriminatory.
"We're not scared of Sheriff Conway," said Rodriquez, 20, in a March 2 press
release. "Local enforcement of federal policies like the one Sheriff Conway
is proudly implementing are proof of the need for real immigration reform.
These policies have the long-term effect of criminalizing immigrants - the
vast majority of whom are here only to work hard and provide for their
For more information, read "Walking the Dream" Immigrant College Students
Push for Reform" published Jan. 29 in The Indypendent and visit
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