For Immediate Release:
January 27, 2013
Rui Zhang, firstname.lastname@example.org, 216-881-0330
Amanda Hoyt, email@example.com, 614-483-3168
Fast for Families Announces Next Phase of Campaign
“Fast for Families Across America” to Visit More Than 100 Congressional Districts
CINCINNATI, OHIO – Building on momentum created last year, Fast for Families today announced the next phase of its campaign to enact commonsense immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship. “Fast for Families Across America” will visit more than 100 congressional districts in the coming months to engage constituents in a dialogue about the moral crisis caused by our broken immigration system and encourage them to fast, act and pray.
Fast for Families is a collaboration among a diverse group of allies from the faith, immigrant, labor and civil rights communities and individuals committed to fixing our broken immigration system.
“Millions of families are suffering under our broken immigration system. My fasting is but a small sacrifice to connect with that suffering and to remind Congress of the dire need to act on immigration reform and urge them to do it now”, said Rudy Lopez, of Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and one of the core fasters who went 22 days without food last year.
Joining Lopez was Father Mike Pucke of St. Julie’s Billiart Catholic Parish, who stated “Just because something is legal does not make it moral. And just because something is illegal does not make it wrong. We need to change the law so that what is moral is legal and vice versa.”
Participants at the announcement press conference included Father Michael Pucke, Pastor, St. Julie’s Billiart Catholic Parish, Rudy Lopez, Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), Damaris Barajas, DREAMer, Sister Mary Wendeln, Nuns on the Bus Ohio, and Michael Byun, Executive Director, Asian Services in Action.
“The desires for Asian American and all immigrant families to reunite or not to be torn apart should rise above political wrangling. It’s what makes us human: to be with loved ones. I urge Speaker Boehner to act so families here in Ohio and across the country have what he and many of us take for granted,” said Michael Byun.
Speakers at the DC press conference included Eliseo Medina, SEIU, Jim Wallis, Sojourners, Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, NAKASEC, Reverend John McCullough, Church World Services, and Barbara Skinner, Sojourners.
“The time for immigration reform is now. We have heard the word ‘wait’ in the past. Dr. King heard it. Cesar Chavez heard it. Mahatma Gandhi heard it. Our communities of immigrants continue to hear it as they live in the shadows and watch as their families are torn apart by deportations,” said Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, Executive Director of NAKASEC. “With this new phase of Fast for Families, we will be in districts across the country to increase awareness of the human cost of our broken system and raise the level of urgency for reform.”
The “Fast for Families Across America Tour” kicked off on January 27 and will end on April 9th in Washington, DC as Congress is still in session and preparing to return to their districts for a two week recess.
“Fast for Families Across America” will progress in two phases. The first phase runs January 27th through February 21st and will consist of fasters participating in events, Congressional visits and community meetings in more than 50 key Congressional districts to engage constituents in to draw attention to the moral crisis caused by our broken immigration system and to organize community action beyond these visits to encourage Congress to act.
Phase two will begin on February 24th and run through April 9th – during the Lenten season – and will include two bus tours with the fasters stopping in more than 50 key Congressional districts for community events, Congressional visits and community meetings. The two “Fast for Families Across America” buses will leave from Los Angeles – one traveling along a northern route and the other bus traveling along a southern route – and will meet in Washington, DC. Along both routes, fasters will be received by the community and participate in day-long events including meetings with faith, labor, business and community leaders and organizations. There will be daily events and will finish with a large community meeting, modeled after the community meetings at the original Fast for Families tent on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
The first phase of “Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship” began in a tent on the National Mall on November 12, 2013 and ended on December 12 to underscore the moral crisis caused by our country’s broken immigration system. Leaders and immigrant members of the community abstained from all food – except water – to move the hearts and minds of members of Congress to pass immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.
During the 30 day fast, participants were visited by President Obama and the First Lady, Vice President Joe Biden, President Obama’s Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Secretary Tom Vilsack, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, former NAACP President Ben Jealous, Reverend Jesse Jackson and several members of Congress who offered support and solidarity with Fast for Families.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).