Obama visits fasting immigration activists

Washington, Nov 30 (IANS/EFE) US President Barack Obama Friday visited activists on a hunger strike in the National Mall demanding that comprehensive immigration reform be passed in the country. He said he was proud of them.

Accompanied by first lady Michelle Obama, the president went Friday morning from the White House to the white tents near the Capitol where the activists have camped without eating since Nov 12.

The Obamas expressed their support for Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, who has already lost close to 10 kg, as well as to Dae Joong Yoon, executive director of the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium.

The president and his wife spent close to 30 minutes with the activists, but the White House would not reveal what they talked about.

“As families begin to gather for Thanksgiving, I’m thinking of the brave #Fast4Families immigration reform advocates. We’re with you. -mo,” the first lady tweeted.

Organisers hope to persuade people around the country to join the fast for the first three days of December to ask the leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representative, John Boehner, to unblock the path to immigration reform that would give legal status to 11 million people.

The hunger strike began the day before Boehner said that House Republicans would not debate immigration reform during the rest of this year, though the Senate passed a bipartisan reform measure in June.

–IANS/EFE

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IANS 2013-11-30 08:12:05

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