Fifteen undocumented high school students and their supporters are walking 150 miles to Albany to demand that state lawmakers pass the New York State DREAM Act.
The will also hold lectures and try to drum up support along the way.
The State Dream Act would allow undocumented students to apply for tuition assistance along with other forms of financial aid.
Funding for the measure was left out of the newly passed state budget.
"I believe that education is a right, it's not a privilege, and that's as American as anyone can say," said Luis Averda, one of the marchers. "I was taught in school that if you want to succeed, you need education. Education is the key."
"The undocumented pay millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars in taxes," said Manhattan Senator Bill Perkins. "They are not freeloaders asking for something that they cannot contribute to. "
Organizers say it will take close to nine days to reach Albany.
A federal version of the law was defeated in 2010.