WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 4, 2014) — In the first week of “Fast for Families Across America,” leaders and advocates for immigration reform stopped in 12 key congressional districts throughout California, Oregon, Nevada, Washington and Arizona, engaging constituents, from across the political spectrum, to act, fast and pray for commonsense immigration reform.
Heading on a southern route, “Fast for Families” leaders Eliseo Medina (SEIU) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) engaged with constituents on the ground as they met with the offices of U.S. Representatives Darrel Issa (CA-49), Ed Royce (CA-39), Gary Miller (CA-31), Joe Heck (NV-3), Trent Franks (AZ-8) and Matt Salmon (AZ-5). While in Arizona, “Fast for Families” was also honored by the State Senate Legislature.
“Every stop is a moment to organize and empower the voices of constituents,” stated Medina who is now on route to Texas along with Avila. “While the House delays to act, families endure the devastating impacts of inaction. We won’t let them forget or ignore the voices and prayers of families within their own district who are calling on them to take leadership and move immigration reform forward. It’s time for a permanent solution to this moral crisis.”
On the north route, DJ Yoon (NAKASEC), Rudy Lopez (FIRM) and advocates gathered with communities on the ground as they knocked on the doors of members of Congress Buck McKeon (CA-24), Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Nancy Pelosi (CA-12), Mark Amodei (NV-2), Greg Walden (OR-2) and Jaime H. Buetler (WA-3).
“From Asian American and Pacific Islanders to Latino and African American communities, we are coming together in each stop to ensure that elected leaders on both sides of the aisle are championing immigration reform,” said DJ Yoon. “There is no room for passive support – the House must reach deep within their faith and deliver real change for all our communities.”
Today, “Fast for Families” advocates will begin their first 24-hour fast as part of the season of Lent. Every Wednesday, they will fast as thousands more will join them, including 30 teachers from Nevada public schools who welcomed the national bus tour last Friday at a community gathering.
“As educators, we teach our students that America was built from the dreams of immigrants who came to this country in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families. Who are we to reject that history now,” said Jonas M. Linde, a teacher at Sunrise Mountain High School. “Within this broad, complicated issue, there is a morally-compelling argument that drives my desire to stand for reforms that will keep families intact. Our students – young adults who have dreams and hopes for their own futures – should not live in constant fear that their parents may be gone when they return from school or that their own aspirations will be stifled by our broken immigration system.”
The two-bus, 14k+ miles national tour began on February 24 in Los Angeles. After stops in five states, they will now continue on to Texas and Washington State, respectively. With still more than 70 congressional districts to go, “Fast for Families Across America” buses will meet in Washington, DC on April 9.
“Fast for Families” reignited the immigration debate last November when Medina, Avila, Yoon and Lopez abstained from all food for 22 days on the National Mall. Joined by faith, labor and immigrant rights leaders and thousands across the country who fasted in solidarity, the movement drew national attention, including both Republican and Democratic members of Congress – many of whom fasted – and national civil rights leaders.