Immigration marchers end 50-mile walk

Abel Uribe The associated Press The Associated Press

Abel Uribe The associated Press The Associated Press

By The Associated Press

BATAVIA, Ill. – Immigration reform marchers on Monday ended their four-day, 50-mile walk to the suburban Chicago office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

About 150 people walked all four days and others joined in along the way, culminating in a crowd of about 3,000 people at Hastert’s Batavia office, said Gabe Gonzalez, the Midwest regional organizer for the Center for Community Change.

Organizers have said they marched to Hastert’s office from Chicago to highlight what they say are his anti-immigration stances. The Illinois Republican has suggested fences, pedestrian inhibitors and the use of the Army Corps of Engineers and Border Patrol to help close off the border with Mexico.

“We think it was incredibly successful,” Gonzalez said of the march because of the attention drawn to Hastert.

Hastert’s office was closed Monday for Labor Day so he was not there, his spokesman, Brad Hahn, said.

Hahn said the contribution of immigrants to the country is not in question. “The question is how we most effectively can go about securing our borders and strengthening our immigration system,” he said.

Gonzalez said there were no arrests during the peaceful march.

Earlier immigration reform marches in Chicago this year attracted about 400,000 participants in May and another, according to police, drew about 10,000 in July.