WASHINGTON - September 13 - Today, immigrant students, friends and family members around the country -- some facing deportation -- will begin a two-week fast and vigil to bring attention to the DREAM Act, which would provide a path to legal status for undocumented students who have grown up in this country.
The two-week fast kicked-off with a press conference yesterday in Oregon, where consecutive two-day fasts are happening in six cities across the state.
Today, in Los Angeles, students and their allies began a fast that will last through September 25th. In New York City, people will fast for five days, starting on the 15th, to call attention to this country's broken immigration system. In Maryland, local leaders and students will fast on September 20th, and lobby Members of Congress on the 21st. Elected leaders and community members in Michigan will begin fasting on Sept. 23rd. On the 24th -- the National Day of Solidarity -- individuals nationwide will join the effort to pass the DREAM Act this year.
These dramatic actions are part of a growing movement in support of the DREAM Act. DREAM Act supporters have met with members of Congress, held hundreds of rallies, gathered more than 100,000 petitions, and made tens of thousands of phone calls to Congressional offices -- all in the effort to pass the DREAM Act.
As a result, the DREAM Act was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee last October by a bipartisan vote of 16-3. Unfortunately, there has been no action in Congress since then, and in the meantime, roughly 65,000 students have graduated from high school with few prospects for completing their education because of their undocumented status.
Congressional sponsors have not given up hope that the DREAM Act may pass this year. Recent polls have shown 2-1 support for the DREAM Act among the general public, and passionate and overwhelming support from Latino and Asian voters -- for whom immigration and education are top concerns.
The "Fasting for a DREAM" event is being sponsored by the United We Dream Campaign, in coordination with a Nationwide Week of Action, coordinated by the New American Opportunity Campaign