Over a dozen supporters of immigration reform will go on a hunger strike from the June 25th to June 28th in a bid to call attention to what they see as a “broken immigration system” in the United States. The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ), a state-wide advocacy group for Alabama immigrant communities, yesterday announced plans for the hunger strike to try “to keep families together”.
The communications director of the group, Kyle Tharp, says that advocates for immigration reform, including the ACIJ, are joining in the demonstration to demand that the leadership of the House of Representatives makes progress on a bill to advance the issue. “This month marks the one year anniversary of the US Senate passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill, a fair, bipartisan reform bill that our coalition members support. Since then, the GOP controlled House has refused to put the Senate bill to a vote,” Tharp notes.
Tharp believes that progress could still be made if such a bill was given an up-or-down vote on the floor, or even if individual aspects of the bill were scheduled for votes. The group would prefer to see the former, with Tharp pointing out that the House of Representatives could start doing so straight away.
The hunger strike will happen in an unspecified but “very public, politically targeted place” so that the general public can join in. “We’re going on a hunger strike to call attention to the family suffering inflicted by deportations,” says ACIJ organizer Evelyn Smith.