By Pat Loeb

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Eleven New Jersey residents eager for reform of US immigration laws are making what they call a “pilgrimage” through the state in an appeal for new, less stringent, immigration laws.

The walkers, accompanied by well-wishers, set off this afternoon from the Immaculate Heart Cathedral in Camden.

Camden bishop Dennis Sullivan blessed the group before wishing them luck on their nine-day, 130-mile journey that includes stops in Trenton and Freehold to see four New Jersey congressmen: Rob Andrews, Jon Runyan, Chris Smith, and Frank LoBiondo.

“This brings attention to something that needs to be attended to, the need to change the laws,” said Andrews, who has been an outspoken advocate of changes in immigration law.

He says other members of Congress are not opposed to revamping the immigration laws but all of his fellow representatives are constrained by the Republican leadership’s categorical stand that no immigration bills will be taken up in the US House this year.

The group was not discouraged, though, as they set off, singing in Spanish, in the sunshine and unseasonable warmth.