The Common Good

Long-term Fasters Hand Over Role In Pursuit Of Immigration Reform

Date: December 5, 2013

WASHINGTON (CNS) — From the interfaith clergy to the civil rights heroes, from the union activists and community organizers to one of the youngest members of Congress, those involved in a Dec. 3 event spanned the wide range of people working to keep Washington’s attention on comprehensive immigration reform….

Those who fasted 22 days include Eliseo Medina, former international secretary treasurer of the Service Employees International Union; Dae Joong Yoon of the National Korean American Service & Education Consortium, known as NAKASEC; Cristian Avila, of Mi Familia Vota in Phoenix; and Lisa Sharon Harper of Sojourners. They “turned over” the role as long-term fasters to seven others: the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners; Philip Agnew and Ciara Taylor of Dream Defenders; the Rev. Eun-sang Lee, a board member of NAKASEC and pastor of First United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City; Stephan Bauman, president and CEO of World Relief; the Rev. Gabriel Salguero, president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; and Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Mass., the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy who was elected a year ago to his first term in Congress. Each spoke about why they were taking on the fast. Rev. Lee said he was doing so as “a humble Christian and Methodist minister, a follower of Christ.” In fluent Spanish learned as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, Kennedy said he was participating in appreciation for the nation’s immigrant history and for the many mentors and teachers who have been carrying on the fight for civil and immigrant rights for generations.