Supporters of immigration reform gather in Jax on way to Washington D.C.

Published On: Jan 04 2013 01:17:25 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 04 2013 01:19:41 PM EST

Immigrants' rights advocates and their supporters made a stop in Jacksonville on Friday along their 1,000 mile Forward-With-Your-Promise Caravan trek from Central Florida to Washington D.C.

They stopped outside City Hall to hold a news conference urging the Duval Legislative Delegation members to support comprehensive immigration reform before their scheduled 1 p.m. delegation meeting.

The Forward-With-Your-Promise Caravan evolved from the Knee-A-Thon Pilgrimage. In 2011, Santos de la Rosa began a Knee-A-Thon Pilgrimage in Sebring. Santos de la Rosa and Immigration Information Advocates Inc. exposed the pain of families separated by the U.S.' current deportation and detention policies.

"I lay awake at night and think of the mothers separated from their sons and daughters, the children who cry at night because their parents are gone, and, tragically, the children in state or foster care, all because of an immigration system that has failed them," said de la Rosa. "How can our nation sleep peacefully at night until we have stopped the hurt and fixed this devastating problem that is breaking hearts and tearing families apart?"

Marchers began crawling on their knees from Sebring in September 2011. Now, the marchers are standing up, going to the nation's capital.

The marchers are asking Sen. Marco Rubio and President Barack Obama to take leadership on true immigration reform, with papers and with a green card.

The caravan will reach Washington D.C. on Jan. 20 in time for the inauguration.