Hunger strikers hope to influence Immigration policy.
The fast began Nov 12 and came to a close for some Tuesday Dec 4, lasting 22 days. Linka Mendosa, an undocumented mother and motel housekeeper, is one activist who is continuing her fast in hopes of influencing the lives of many undocumented immigrants residing in the United States.
“Fast for Families” is an organized protest against standing Immigration laws. Mendoza and other activists are fasting on the National Mall in the hope that their political statement will influence the House of Representatives to vote on legislation that will allow undocumented immigrants to pursue citizenship. The Senate approved the bill earlier this year. However the bill has met resistance in a GOP dominated House of Representatives.
The activists represent various groups. Many come from faith-based backgrounds and human rights organizations. During their fast they have been visited by both President Obama and Vice President Biden as well as many supporters of immigration reform.
On the fourth day of fasting, Mendoza stated, through a translator, “we are moving the power of God’s hands for this country, for good things, for a good change.” Rudy Lopez, senior organizer for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, described himself and fellow hunger strikers as: “all proud Americans, if not through the documents we have, but the spirit we bring.”
The hunger strikers hope to influence the House to vote on the citizenship bill before the fast-approaching end of the congressional term, Dec 13.