For Immediate Release
April 9, 2014
Contact: Emily Kessel, NAKASEC, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Fast for Families Across America” Final Stop in Herndon on April 8 and Closing Events in D.C. on April 9
Town Council Member Grace Han Wolf and Delegate Mark Keam Voice their Support; Breaking of Fast with We Belong Together; Rally and Press Event at the National Mall
WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, April 9, after seven weeks, more than 18,000 miles and 80+ congressional districts, “Fast for Families Across America” completes its journey by returning to the National Mall, where the Fast for Families movement first began. The buses were greeted by a rally of hundreds of supporters from the faith, business, labor and immigrant rights communities. The Fast for Families delivered a letter and more than 20,000 petition signatures to Speaker John Boehner following the rally and press conference.
“We have talked to thousands of people across the country and we know that America wants reform,” said Eliseo Medina, a Fast for Families leader and former Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
“Asian American communities have been working together – Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese Americans – to fight for immigration reform that provides a path to citizenship and puts families first. We’ve heard hundreds of stories throughout the tour reiterating the need to put an end to the suffering of family separation from the broken system,” said Dae Joong (DJ) Yoon, a Fast for Families leader and Executive Director of NAKASEC.
The rally brought together the “Fast for Families” leaders and the We Belong Together – Women For Commonsense Immigration Reform who had been fasting for 48 hours at the National Mall. These two campaigns have been shining a light on the moral and economic crisis created by America’s broken immigration system and urging members of the House to act on commonsense immigration reform with a path to citizenship and in support of family unity.
As part of the We Belong Together fast, 100 hundred women from across the country sacrificed food in order to feed the courage of federal leaders to pass comprehensive immigration reform and take executive action to stop deportations. Senior leader Manok Cha and Jenny Seon (Korean Resource Center) and Xinyang Liu (KAN-WIN in Chicago, Illinois) fasted for 48-hours from April 7 to 9. Korean adoptees from NAKASEC and the adoptee group HALT in Chicago also fasted on April 6th as part of We Belong Together and in solidarity with Fast for Families and AAPI families across the nation.
Fast for Families and local Virginian leaders joined the Herndon events on Tuesday, April 8 to energize the Asian American and immigrant communities to act, fast and pray for a change of heart from House leadership.
“We have families who have been separated for years waiting for a visa. We have college students waiting to go to college to achieve the American Dream to pay back their parents and become prosperous members of our society. Give them a chance. If nothing else, then pray for these families. If nothing else, then fast on Easter Sunday. Demand that your Congress member take action on this important vote for families,” said Grace Han Wolf, Herndon Town Council Member.
“All of us are working towards immigration reform not only because it’s the right thing to do—it’s the right humane thing to do. But also because it’s an economic issue,” said Mark Keam, Virginia State Delegate. “For our Republican friends—Frank Wolf and others—they seem to understand economics. They seem to talk about how pro-business they are. This is the most pro-business vote they can cast because if they vote for immigration reform, they will have a booming economy because all of us from the shadows would come out and vote for immigration reform.”
On January 27, 2014, Fast for Families Across America launched its second phase with plans to visit over 100 Congressional districts in all. For one month, fly-ins was organized to reach over 25 key Congressional members. On February 24, 2014, the campaign kicked off its two-bus nationwide tour in Los Angeles. “Fast for Families” leader DJ Yoon (NAKASEC) is traveling on the northern route with Susana Sandoval (Fast for Families) who joined after Rudy Lopez (Fair Immigration Reform Movement), while leaders Eliseo Medina (Fast for Families) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) are traveling on the southern route for the entirety of the tour. Stopping at more than 80 districts with daily events calling for Congressional action on immigration reform, the two buses will meet in Washington DC in April.
“Fast for Families” reignited the immigration debate last November when Eliseo Medina (Fast for Families), DJ Yoon (NAKASEC), Rudy Lopez (FIRM) and Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) —abstained from all food, except water for 22 days in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall. The campaign calls for Congressional action for just and humane immigration reform.
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Fast for Families photos can be found here and https://db.tt/HNIwL8PY.
Fast for Families video can be found at http://www.fast4families.org/pressvideo
Visit www.fast4families.org for more information and follow us on twitter @nakasec @djnakasec @Fast4Families #fast4families #TimeisNow #ActFastPray
Watch a recap of the national tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI12Jwwfnb4
View pictures of “Fast for Families” stops.
The National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) was founded in 1994 by local community centers to project a progressive voice and promote the full participation of Korean Americans on major social justice issues. NAKASEC maintains offices in Annandale, Virginia and Los Angeles, California. NAKASEC has affiliates in Chicago (Korean American Resource & Cultural Center) and Los Angeles (Korean Resource Center).