Rahm Emanuel, Chicago Aldermen To Take On 24-Hour Fast In Support Of Immigration Reform

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at an event of The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition Monday, April 1, 2013, in Chicag
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at an event of The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition Monday, April 1, 2013, in Chicago. The new group of business leaders wants to recruit 300 CEOs and 1,000 small businesses in Illinois to push for "common sense" bipartisan immigration reform. The coalition includes leaders from Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. as well as Motorola Solutions Inc., the University of Illinois, trade groups and immigration-rights advocates. Mayor Emanuel backs the coalition. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and several of the city's aldermen are reportedly planning to fast for a full 24 hours starting late Thursday to show support for immigration reform.

According to the Associated Press, Emanuel will announce the start of the fast at 7 p.m. Thursday during a mass at St. Pius V Church on the city's South Side.

The fast was timed to coincide with the Catholic holiday the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe as "a way to "remind our leaders what is at stake in the fight for immigration reform," Emanuel said in a statement. "We are sending a clear message to Congress that the time is now for comprehensive immigration reform, it just cannot wait any longer."

"Every day I see how our country’s broken immigration system affects undocumented families in my ward," Ald. Solis told DNAinfo. "Whether it's parents taking their kids to school, entrepreneurs running their businesses, or people living their lives, no one should live in the shadows."

The act of solidarity joins the "Fast For Families" effort and other groups fighting for immigration reform. As the Tribune notes, a rotating group of immigration reform activists have taken turns fasting at the National Mall in the nation's capital since last month.

Activists are hoping to pressure Congress into approving a sweeping immigration reform bill that passed in the Senate over the summer but has since stalled in the House.

Other prominent Illinois lawmakers like U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-8th) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) have also announced their support of the immigration reform efforts.

Emanuel has taken a decidedly more enthusiastic stance on immigration reform since leaving Washington where he served as President Obama's White House chief of staff.

"I am committed to making Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the world," Emanuel said last fall. “As we build a 21st century economy, we must work together to attract and retain immigrants by helping them to succeed and grow in a safe and welcoming city."



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