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80-Mile March From Boston to NH Begins in Opposition to Immigration Policy

A group of activists, protesting the detention and deportation of immigrants, is walking from Boston to an immigration detention center in Dover, New Hampshire.

Marchers left Government Center around 11 a.m. Monday, walking through the blazing heat.

"The people who are trying to survive can't pick which days they want to be out," Pastor Joan MacPherson said of the weather.

She was with a group that included moms, dads, religious leaders, activists and musicians. They started the morning with a rally.

"We're all immigrants. I think treating them as inhuman, locking them up, separating families, it's just terrible. I don't want my country to stand for that," said Kirk Israel, a computer programmer who plays tuba for Babam, a group of musicians who come together for a cause.

Israel marched with the group to Charlestown, where they took a short break. The Essex County Community Organization is leading the march and

"Nobody leaves their home unless it's intolerable," said Rabbi Margie Klein Ronkin. "So many of the immigrants who have come to this country have come because of actions the U.S government that have made it impossible for people live in home countries."

MacPherson was wearing a photo of an immigrant child.

"I want everyone to recognize that the person trying to cross is our sister and brother, and they're human," she said. "Policies — I would love for them to change, but dehumanizing people is just not OK. And It’s not at all what I understand Jesus is teachings us to do."

The group will head to Danvers on Tuesday and Newburyport on Wednesday. On Thursday, they should be in Exeter, New Hampshire, and walking into Lee on Friday. Finally, they'll arrive in Dover by Saturday.

The marchers will be meeting with three other groups making similar treks from Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire. It's 76 miles that looks arduous on a map, but those taking the steps say it's nothing compared to an immigrant's struggle.

"Children are walking thousands of miles every single day just for that shot of life," said Rev. Andre Bennett. "Seventy-six miles pales in comparison to that."

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