Press Release
December 12, 2013

Mayor Emanuel Participates In 24 Hour Fast In Solidarity With Immigration Reform Advocates Fasting On The National Mall In Washington, D.C.

Mayor, Several Aldermen Pressure members of Congress to Pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a 24- hour Fast for Families in solidarity with those fasting at the National Mall in Washington D.C., since November 12 to pressure members of Congress to pass immigration reform including a pathway to citizenship. The Mayor made the commitment joined by several Aldermen during an evening mass dedicated to the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Pius Church, 1919 South Blue Island in Chicago’s Pilsen Neighborhood.

“On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we join people from all over the country who are making an incredible sacrifice to remind our leaders what is at stake in the fight for immigration reform,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “We are sending a clear message to Congress that the time is now for comprehensive immigration reform, it just cannot wait any longer.”

“Every day I see how our country’s broken immigration system affects undocumented families in my ward, whether its parents taking their kids to school, entrepreneurs running their businesses, or people living their lives, no one should live in the shadows,” said Alderman Danny Solis. “I’m proud to stand with the Mayor and my fellow City Council members to let Washington know that their unacceptable inaction is tearing families apart in cities and neighborhoods across the country.”

“Today we stand proud with our mayor, Rahm Emanuel and the City Council of the City of Chicago as they fast in solidarity with our undocumented brothers and sisters to call on the US House of Representatives to pass immigration reform now,” said Father Brendan Curran, pastor at St. Pius Church. “May the call of our mother Mary through the journey of Juan Diego inspire our Congress to respect human dignity and the sacredness of family."

Last week a group of over 50 people from SEIU, community and faith leaders joined the fast for 24 hours. The Women for Compassion Immigration Reform also held solidarity fast two weeks ago.

On November 12, faith, immigrant rights and labor leaders announced the launch of “Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship,” taking place on the National Mall, steps away from the Capitol. Leaders and immigrant members of the community will fast every day and night, abstaining from all food—except water—to move the hearts and compassion of members of Congress to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

The three core “Fast for Families” fasters in Washington, DC – SEIU’s Eliseo Medina, DREAMer and Mi Familia Vota’s Cristian Avila and NAKASEC’s Dae Joong Yoon abstained from all food for nearly 22 days in a small tent on the National Mall. Dozens have taken their place and their efforts have gained national and international attention and inspired thousands to fast for immigration reform across the country. ###