A group of Hispanics began a two-day pilgrimage through eight Illinois cities with a image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Wednesday in Joliet, southwest of Chicago, to ask that the U.S. Congress approve immigration reform.

Besides Joliet, the caravan will make its way through Bolingbrook, Melrose Park, Stone Park, Cicero, Chicago, Des Plaines and will wind up the tour on Thursday in Waukegan.

In Chicago, the caravan will arrive early Thursday morning at the St. Pius V Catholic Church, where participants will serenade an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

Thousands of people will gather until Thursday at the Our Lady of Guadalupe shrine near Chicago to demonstrate their devotion to Mexico's patron saint.

In a recent interview with Efe, the coordinator of the event, Eduardo Piña, said that the initiative seeks to exert pressure on lawmakers to approve an immigration reform package that will remove the 11 million undocumented foreigners living in this country from limbo and prevent the deportation and separation of thousands of families.

Piña said that the Virgin of Guadalupe, considered to be "The queen of the immigrants," has become a symbol of the faith of undocumented migrants.

"This virgin is constructed with the suffering of our people, with their labor, with their sorrow and with that separation of families when they are deported," he said. 

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