President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited a group of activists on Friday who are fasting to protest inaction by the House of Representatives on immigration reform. According to the Associated Press, the protesters have foregone all food for 18 days, drinking only water.
The president visited the group Fast for Families — a coalition of immigrant rights and labor rights groups and their representatives — in the white tent they erected on the National Mall to mark their protest. He reportedly told them that he supports their efforts and said that there is still time in the legislative year for the House to take up immigration reform.
Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) has steadfastly refused to let the immigration bill come to the floor for debate, in spite of the fact that it might actually pass, even in the Republican-dominated House.
Immigration activists and labor reformers say that Boehner’s inaction is inexcusable in the face of families that are broken up by deportations and livelihoods that are ruined for people who are just trying to make a better way of life for themselves and their loved ones.
Vice President Joe Biden paid a surprise visit to the activists to express his solidarity last week.
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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