WASHINGTON – Five activists are four days into a hunger strike at a camp set up near the U.S. Capitol to put pressure on legislators to pass immigration reform in the United States.
Meanwhile others around the country are joining in – activists are also mounting hunger strikes in New York, Philadelphia and Fresno, California, according to the coalition of groups calling for reform.
The organizers, which include CASA in Action and America’s Voice as well as religious and union groups, say that in the coming weeks Omaha, Nebraska, and Phoenix will have their own hunger strikes.
At the same time, daily demonstrations are being organized in which activists go into the streets to raise awareness among the people about the urgency of immigration reform.
“It’s not easy because the demonstrations we’re mounting are in bad weather and it’s getting very cold, but the strength and enthusiasm behind getting this reform done won’t allow us to stay home,” one of the hunger strikers, the Argentine Monica Carrizo who has lived in the United States for 13 years without papers, told Efe.
Carrizo, who said she was “desperate,” intends to stick to her hunger strike for immigration reform “until it’s approved” and believes that will occur this year, even though the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, John Boehner, said Wednesday that the immigration law will not be debated until 2014.
Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Judy Chu, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Salt Lake City Bishop John Wester recently visited the Washington camp to lend their support to the hunger strikers.