Immigration activists fasting for immigration reform were cheered by the First Lady, Michelle Obama. She offered her support to the Fast for Families activists who have set up tents in the National Mall. The activists are hoping to create momentum for immigration reform. They received a tweet from the First Lady, Michelle Obama expressing support for them and her tweet says, “As families begin to gather for Thanksgiving, I’m thinking of the brave #Fast4Families immigration reform advocates. We’re with you. –mo”.
These activists, who have named their organization “Fast for Families”, have been fasting since November 12. They have stated that they will celebrate Thanksgiving by sipping only water. According to Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, one of the hunger strikers, their sacrifice is small when compared to that of the immigrants who suffer deportation. These activists have abstained from all food since November 12. While spending their days praying, they are also meeting the other activists and the lawmakers who visit them.
These activists also issued a call to citizens across the country to urge the House Speaker John Boehner to back immigration reform that would offer the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country a path to US citizenship. Many people around the country have joined the fast for comprehensive immigration reform. Rev. Samuel Rodriguez was the first person to start fasting and he told Fox News Latino that he has planned to stay on the fast for 40 days.
A bipartisan bill that has White House support was passed by the U.S. Senate in June. This bill apart from providing a path to legal status and US citizenship to the undocumented immigrants would also tighten enforcement. But the House is not willing to vote on this bill. The conservative Republicans are against this bill as they believe that a path to legal status is “amnesty”.