Activists on Tuesday broke a 22-day long water-only fast intended to pressure the House to act on immigration reform.
The fast, which began on Nov. 12 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was led by four activists from various advocacy groups who have all been on the forefront of fighting for comprehensive reform. Other activists and political leaders incrementally joined for shorter periods, including freshman Congressman Joe Kennedy III, whose grandfather Robert Kennedy brought national attention to labor leader Cesar Chavez’s 25-day long fast in 1968 for farm workers.
“Immigration reform is something that’s been important to my family,” the Massachusetts Democrat said Tuesday as he joined the activists in their fast for 24 hours. ”At this point, we need to get some movement on this bill and whatever we can do to try to break the logjam is important, so I want to be a part of it.”
The activists were also visited by President Obama and the first lady the day after Thanksgiving. According to Eliseo Medina of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the fasters who tweeted throughout the 22-day long protest, Obama promised the activists there would be progress made on passing legislation.
Medina was taken to the hospital to be evaluated Tuesday, but tweeted he expects to return to the National Mall to continue his fast. “The fight for justice awaits us and Speaker Boehner needs us to be his conscience,” Medina said.
The Senate earlier this year passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill with bipartisan support, but the House failed to move forward with the legislation.