After a year of frustrating setbacks for immigration reform activists, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin has decided to stop eating for one day to call attention to the cause.
Fast4Families, a group that advocates a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants through coordinated hunger strikes, met with the Illinois Democrat on the National Mall Wednesday, a Durbin aide said, and Durbin accepted the group’s invitation to the join the fast. President Barack Obama and First Michelle Obama met with Fast4Families late last month.
“This fast will coincide with the observance of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness of Mexico and one of the most solemn days on the Catholic calendar for many,” Durbin said in a statement. “There is no excuse for the failure of the U.S. House of Representatives to call our bipartisan Senate bill for a vote. [House] Speaker [John] Boehner is ignoring the injustice of our broken immigration system; the suffering of millions of innocent Dreamers and the values at the heart of this great immigrant nation.”
Last week, Boehner revived the hopes of immigration reform advocates by hiring Rebecca Tallent, a top policy aide on this issue. The Senate passed a reform bill earlier this year that has yet to be taken up by the House.
Durbin will fast from 7 p.m. Thursday until 7 p.m. Friday.