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December 04, 2013

Supporting a Fast for Families

Fast4FamiliesI was honored to meet some real heroes yesterday on the National Mall. Eliseo Medina of the Service Employees International Union, Dae Joong Yoon of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, Cristian Avila of Mi Familia Vota, and Lisa Sharon Harper of the Christian social-justice group Sojourners. All four had gone for 22 days without food in an attempt to galvanize Congress into moving forward on immigration reform.

I also had the privilege to meet labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, co-founder with César Chávez of the National Farmworkers Association (later the United Farmworkers of America), who participated in a portion of the fast.

I've written before about why the Sierra Club supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. There's no excuse for forcing millions of people to live outside the prevailing currents of our society, where they are frequently exploited and where they often suffer the worst effects of environmental pollution.

Having risked their health to make their point, the original four long-term fasters have now passed their vigil on to new advocates. They've also been joined by thousands of other citizens in shorter solidarity fasts. The immediate goal is to persuade House Speaker John Boehner to at least allow immigration reform to be brought to the floor (the Senate passed its own bill on June 27).

Although the current Congress has an unmatched record of un-achievement on practically every major issue, there's still time to contact your representatives and let them know that you want to see immigration reform brought to the House floor. Time is running out, though -- Congress is only in session for a little more than a week.

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