Yesterday, our member Lucy Tzunun began an indefinite fast for immigration reform. Lucy courageously joined national immigrant, labor, and religious leaders are fasting together in a powerful appeal to Republican Congressional leaders to pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship this year. The fasters will drink only water, and continue until they are no longer able to sustain it. The Fast for Families is only one day old, and has already sparked solidarity actions and fasts across the country.
Lucy, who immigrated to the U.S. from Guatemala eight years ago, decided to join the fast to highlight the pain the broken immigration system causes each day, and the urgency of passing immigration reform this year. Lucy came to the United States in pursuit of a better education, but has faced the harsh realities of life as an undocumented immigrant since then. She has been unable to continue her studies, unable to find a job that allows her to achieve her full potential, and unable to see much of her family for close to a decade. Last year, Lucy’s brother Gerardo, her only family in the United States, was deported, despite being married to an American Citizen and having done years of community service for the Mormon Church in Chicago.
Despite her own struggles, Lucy’s motivation to fast is to highlight others’ suffering, and to stand in solidarity with all undocumented workers and families. As she mentioned yesterday in an interview with Univision, “My sacrifice is nothing compared to what so many families have to confront every day.”
Lucy and the other fasters’ actions are a humbling example of what our movement’s leaders are willing to put on the line to achieve our collective goal of immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the U.S., and build on past actions of civil and workers’ rights struggles by Cesar Chavez and others. We are proud to have Lucy represent MRNY’s immigrant communities across the city and state in Washington.
Time is growing short, and our communities have waited long enough. The time for immigration reform is now. Pelase do your part now by calling Speaker Boehner and Rep. Grimm to tell them to support H.R. 15.