Thanksgiving is just one day away, but there are many families who will not be able to gather around the table and enjoy time together. Unfortunately, there are many families in Pennsylvania who have been ripped apart by our immigration system. There are immigrants in detention, waiting for a hearing that may not come for years. And there are immigrants who have gone through removal proceedings and have been returned to their countries of origin, even though all of their family remains in Pennsylvania. It is important this Thanksgiving to remember that not everyone will be celebrating with family.
There are others who won’t be celebrating with family because they are trying to draw attention to the flaws of the American immigration system by protesting on the National Mall. This group of activists will spend Thanksgiving fasting.
The group is calling their demonstration the “Fast for Families” and it has certainly gathered some attention. One of the most recent high-profile mentions of support came from First Lady Michelle Obama, but the president, the vice president, and the secretaries of agriculture and labor have all shown some support to the protestors, too.
Many of the protestors have vowed to fast for 40 days. Whether that will be enough time to pass immigration reform in Congress, however, is unlikely. There has been tremendous opposition by Republicans in the House, especially with regard to creating a pathway to citizenship for immigrants without legal statuses.
We can only hope that by next Thanksgiving the immigration system will see the reforms that it desperately needs.
Source: FOX News, “Activists Fasting For Immigration Reform Get Cheered By First Lady, Will Celebrate Thanksgiving With Water,” Nov. 27, 2013