Fast for Families

December 3, 2013

Adela de la Torre, [email protected], 213-400-7822

Congress Must Find Its Moral Compass on Immigration Reform

NILC Praises Immigration Leaders on 22nd Day of Fast for Families

WASHINGTON — Today marks the twenty-second day of the national Fast for Families led by four immigrants’ rights leaders — SEIU’s Eliseo Medina, NAKASEC’s Dae Joong (“DJ”) Yoon, Mi Famila Vota’s Cristian Avila (a DREAMer), and Sojourners’ Lisa Sharon Harper — to show that their sacrifice of food pales in comparison to the suffering of families who have been separated or who fear being torn apart under the inhumane immigration system.

As members of the House of Representatives return to Washington, DC, this week, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) urges them to look outside their windows to the tent on the National Mall where immigrants’ rights advocates have been fasting and consider the consequences of congressional inaction on immigration reform.

NILC Executive Director Marielena Hincapié is fasting for 24 hours today as part of the National Days to Act, Fast and Pray — her second fasting period. In a show of solidarity, NILC staff fasted on November 20and visited with the fasters at their tent on the National Mall. Hincapié issued the following statement:

“Throughout our battle for commonsense immigration reform, we have sought legislation that reflects our nation’s values. The House’s failure to act quickly on critical immigration legislation leaves us wondering whether our national leaders have a moral compass.

“Generations of Americans, regardless of our country of origin, have shared and nurtured fundamental beliefs in what is right, good, and just. Almost instinctively, we know good from bad, just from unjust. We need leaders who have the integrity and courage to be compassionate and treat all Americans equally and with fairness and respect.

“These long-held values are difficult to find in a Congress that refuses to do what is both morally right and in the country’s economic interest. Instead, certain policymakers have chosen to follow the bad politics of a small minority who oppose fair treatment of immigrants and a better future for us all.

“Meanwhile, as Congress fails to do its job, 1,100 people are deported daily under the Obama administration’s deportation machine. This injustice must stop.

“Congress should act quickly to pass an immigration measure that reflects our nation’s values.

“Eliseo, DJ, Cristian, and Lisa have bravely reminded us of our national values, as they have given up so much for the 11 million aspiring citizens without documents. We pray for them and for those who take over the leadership of the fast as we continue to fight for justice.”

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