Immigration activists fasting through Thanksgiving in Washington

Nov. 27, 2013 at 8:24 AM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Three immigration reform activists said they would enter a third week of fasting on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., despite the Thanksgiving holiday.

Eliseo Medina, who works for the Service Employees International Union, said Tuesday he has lost 20 pounds over the course of 15 days of fasting, and the biggest feasting day of the year, Thanksgiving, won't stop his fast.

"For us, this will be the first time that we have been away from our families during this holiday, and instead, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving on the Mall, drinking only water instead of eating turkey or watching a football game," he said. "We do so because we feel compelled to help mend a broken and inhumane immigration system that is bringing so much pain and suffering to our communities and to our nation."

"We will continue to fast because there are millions of immigrants who labor to put food on our tables but whose own tables will have empty seats at this Thanksgiving dinner. Those seats should be filled with family members who unlike us cannot join them because they have been deported or because they died a lonely death in the desert trying to come to America. They cannot count their blessings because of the constant fear of arrest and deportation," he added.

Medina is joined by Cristian Avila, of Mi Familia Vota, and Dae Joong Young, of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, ABC News reported.

The three activists have been visited on the National Mall by Vice President Joe Biden and various Democratic and Republican members of Congress. President Obama has mentioned them and their organization, Fast for Families, in his speeches on immigration reform.

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