News / USA

Activists Fast for Immigration Reform

Activists Fast for Immigration Reformi
X
November 27, 2013 7:10 AM
A group of activists has been fasting in Washington for more than two weeks to pressure Speaker of the House John Boehner to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform. As VOA Correspondent Cindy Saine reports, those who are fasting have captured the attention of some members of Congress and of President Obama.
Activists Fast for Immigration Reform
Cindy Saine
A group of activists has been fasting in Washington for more than two weeks to pressure Speaker of the House John Boehner to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform. A landmark immigration bill has already been passed by the Senate by a wide margin, but House leaders say they are unlikely to take up the bill this year.
 
Those who are fasting have captured the attention of some members of Congress and of President Obama; several members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus visited the hunger strikers to express solidarity.
 
Cristian Avila, from Arizona, said he is fasting because he lives in fear of his family being divided by deportation.
 
“Fortunately my brother, sister and I are privileged with a deferred action, but my parents are still undocumented. So every day that goes by is another day that I wonder if I am going to see my parents again, whether they are going to get picked up,” said Avila.
 
Democrat Ruben Hinojosa, who heads the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, wants the Republican majority in the House to act.
 
"There has been a lot of discussion about there not being any time left in the legislative calendar to do immigration reform, but that is not correct. The Speaker of the House has the power to bring it to the floor and to allow all 435 members of Congress to have a vote on it," said Hinojosa.
 
Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez had harsh words for House Speaker John Boehner.
 
"So you might dictate the schedule of the House of Representatives, but we dictate the movements of this fight and this struggle. And we will be consistent and persistent," declared Gutierrez.
 
Speaking in San Francisco, President Obama said immigration reform is long overdue, and expressed support for those who are fasting.
 
“Right now, I'm seeing brave advocates who have been fasting for two weeks in the shadow of the Capitol, sacrificing themselves in an effort to get Congress to act,” said Obama.
 
At that point, the president was interrupted by an immigrant from South Korea.
 
“You have a power to stop deportation for all undocumented immigrants in this country,” said the immigrant. 
 
“Actually, I don’t. And that’s why we’re here,” replied Obama.
 
Obama explained that Congress has to act first. But House Speaker Boehner says the process takes time.
 
“Our committees are continuing to do their work, there are a lot of private conversations that are under way, to try to figure out how we best move on a common sense, step by step basis to address this very important issue,” said Boehner.
 
Meanwhile, for hunger striker Avila, the fast is starting to take its toll.
 
“At day nine, I think we are starting to see a little bit of the effects of the fasting.  Just walking, standing up for long periods of time, you feel the fatigue a little bit more,” explained Avila.
 
Advocates of immigration reform say there is no time to waste.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid