They came pushing strollers, singing hymns, and waving banners. More than 100 women walked 100 miles to greet Pope Francis in Washington, D.C. and demand comprehensive immigration reform that would allow them to keep their families together.
Organized by We Belong Together, the women's pilgrimage began
at a Pennsylvania immigration detention center on September 15. The women walked for eight days, arriving in Washington, D.C. on the same day Pope Francis touched down at Andrews Air Force Base.
Supported by members of the clergy, union workers, and immigrants' rights advocates, the procession made its way from Silver Spring, MD to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., where the Pope will say Mass on Wednesday. The group finished their pilgrimage with a candlelight vigil just a few blocks from the White House.
The women are asking Pope Francis to advocate for them, and for migrants and refugees around the world, when he speaks with President Barack Obama, members of Congress, and world leaders at the U.N. this week.
Refinery29's Kaelyn Forde marched the last 11 miles
with the women, and shares their stories here.