Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a Senior Member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees, released the following statement after meeting with participants who are fasting in Washington, DC in support of comprehensive immigration reform:
"I am inspired by how these fasters are willing to put their health on the line to raise attention to the critical issue of immigration reform. I choose to stand in solidarity with them today. With 7 legislative days left, these fasters are sending a message to House Republican leadership to stop delaying and call a vote on comprehensive immigration reform. I thank my colleagues for standing in solidarity with these courageous leaders.
"This group carries on the same spirit that great leaders such as Cesar Chavez did 25 years ago in California when he fasted for 36 days to seek justice for migrant farm workers. I admire their message to adopt immigration reform now so that they may have the same access to the American Dream that all of the immigrants who came here before them now share. Some of the fasters have already gone without food for 10 days and are willing to risk their own health to make their point. As I fast for a day in solidarity with them I will be thinking of the 11 men and women who are sitting in a tent in front of the U.S. Capitol whose message is a one of peace and courage to stand for what is right.
"Joined together in solidarity, we are sending a message that the Congress must come together right now and pass comprehensive immigration reform, which will reduce our deficit, grow our economy, secure our borders, and create an earned pathway to citizenship. I am humbled to join with these incredible folks as they demonstrate the commitment to leadership that Tea Party Republicans in Congress so clearly lack.
"Over the years I have introduced the Save America Comprehensive Immigration Act and much of the Senate passed bill was included in my immigration bill; the Senate bill would address some of the toughest issues on immigration reform and would offer many innovative and considerate solutions that will help to repair some of the most broken parts of our immigration system. So the passage of the Senate bill is a major leap forward in human rights in America. Now is the time for the House of Representatives to continue this crucial fight for immigration reform and a secure America.
"Today, I will stand in solidarity with courageous immigration reform leaders by fasting with them, and highlighting the urgent need for immigration reform. Our immigration system is archaic and clearly broken. There is no reason not to work together towards passing legislation now. Reform is crucial to our families, small businesses, and our economy. I join with the fasters in Washington, and across the country, in calling for action on comprehensive reform now."