The president and first lady “are very proud” of the group of immigration reform activists fasting in protest on the National Mall.
On Friday, Barack and Michelle Obama visited the 10 individuals with “Fast for Families” who have only had water for the past 18 days as they “protest House inaction on immigration reform legislation,” Fox News Latino reported.
“We are very proud of you,” Obama told the group that includes the secretary-treasurer of the Service Employees International Union, Eliseo Medina, who reportedly lost 20 pounds during the fasting protest.
“I remain optimistic that we’re going to get this done,” Obama said. “It’s more of a question of when not if. But I’d rather get it done sooner rather than later because each day, obviously, it’s not done makes it more difficult because we still have a system that’s not working for too many people.”
“What moves us is the hunger for justice,” Medina said, according to the article. “Any sacrifice is small and is not comparable to that of the immigrants who lose their lives in the desert seeking a better future or whose families suffer deportation.”
According to a White House statement, Vice President Joe Biden visited and prayed with the activists last week.
Other Obama administration members who have visited Fast for Families members fasting for immigration reform have included, “Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.”