One Man Marches for Immigration Reform
He's on a one man march, as Brian Whitecalf's black Chuck Taylors hit the pavement, in search of changing an immigration system that touches central Nebraska in a big way.
"I believe it's vitally important," he said as walked along the shoulder of Highway 30 near Wood River.
It's estimated more than ten million undocumented workers live in the shadows in this country and Brian says Nebraska couldn't survive without them.
"It gives us a workforce, economic stability and a cultural experience that we wouldn't have anywhere else in the world," he said.
But some in Congress and many Americans say reform would reward lawbreakers.
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama took the floor today, saying, "We cannot go down the path of amnesty now and another massive illegality in the future. Cannot do that."
It's been nearly seven years since immigration officers rounded up dozens they said had bogus paperwork. Some praised the crackdown, but Brian saw it differently.
He said, "Families were torn apart, stability of the next meal would come from or where they were going to live."
As his bright orange sign says, Brian wants comprehensive immigration reform, saying it's an issue of economics and faith.
"As a Christian, I don't believe this is how Jesus would treat people," in terms of the current system.
You'd have to get up pretty early -- 4:45 in the morning -- to beat a guy who says he could never run the mile in high school.
"And now I'm walking 47 miles in one day," starting near Grand Island's Hispanic business district.
He's a foot soldier in a much bigger battle, but says he's gaining friends.
And as cars fly by at 65 miles an hours, he believes central Nebraskans are showing support for his position.
The response to his one man march? "Definitely a thumbs up or a wave or a honk."
Brian sees Governor Heineman as an "obstructionist" on the issue.
However, the governor remains very popular and very outspoken against illegal immigration.