It’s a message to Congress about the need for immigration reform, and it is being delivered by New Yorkers who say they won’t be eating for 24 hours.
Dr. Hafiz Rehman, a member of the Human Rights Commission for Suffolk County, is among the 21 Long Islanders who are joining the fast with others, who already have fasted for 21 days in an effort to get the Republican-controlled House to take action on immigration reform.
“There are 11 million people who are looking for some kind of pathway to citizenship,” he says. “Muslims, Jews, Christians. So, we are in solidarity – we are going to be fasting.”
Rehman will be among those meeting news reporters today at a Long Island briefing to update New Yorkers on why they believe comprehensive immigration reform remains a pressing issue.
Also joining in the fast will be Carlos Reyes, a member of Make the Road New York, who says he has been waiting for nearly two decades for lawmakers to take action.
“I’ve been waiting for 19 years,” he says. “I still cannot go out and see my family, because I am not a resident of this country. And a lot of my friends, they don’t even have any documents to work, so they are living in the shadows.”
Rehman says even while legislative fixes have been stalled, plenty of people who considered themselves New Yorkers have been deported.
“People are still being deported,” he stresses. “People are held in custody for three months, four months, not even allowed to see their families before they are put on the plane. So, there is a human part to this whole story.”
To listen to the broadcast, click here.