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Rep. Pocan fasts for immigration reform

Dec 13, 2013
In The News

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Mark Pocan, D-2nd District, fasted for 24 hours in solidarity with activists who also are fasting in a push for immigration reform, his office announced.

Pocan wants Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform before the end of the year, but Congress is scheduled to end its work for the year this week.

Pocan is only drinking water during his fast, which began at sundown Wednesday and ended at sundown Thursday, an aide said.

“I believe that congressional inaction on immigration reform is no longer acceptable. I stand with the families who have been hurt by our broken immigration system, and I urge Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform legislation before the end of the year,” Pocan said in the statement.

The fast is organized nationwide by Fast for Families.

Pocan is a co-sponsor of an immigration bill that is modeled after the bipartisan bill the Senate passed earlier this year.

The legislation has more than 190 bipartisan supporters in the House, according to Pocan.

The bill would “unite families and offer hardworking immigrants an earned pathway to citizenship after passing background checks, paying penalties and taxes, learning English and going to the back of the legal immigration line,” according to the press release.

It also would reform visa programs and interior enforcement, strengthen the E-verify program, protect workers and reward businesses that play by the rules, according to the release.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-1st District, has called for many of the same reforms, but he said they should be done separately rather than in a comprehensive package.