I received the following press release from the office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, Chair of the Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform.

April 8, 2014
(202) 225-1766

Congressional Women Leaders Visit “Women’s Fast for Families”

Call for House Vote on Bipartisan Immigration Reform Legislation

Washington, DC – Today, women leaders in Congress visited the “Women’s Fast for Families” on the National Mall and met with the more than 100 courageous women who are fasting for 48 hours to protest the Republican Leadership’s failure to bring HR 15, a bipartisan immigration reform bill, to the House floor for a vote. This event is the culmination of a month of fasts and other activities held across the country to highlight the impact of our broken immigration system on women and emphasize the urgent need for reform.

“I’m proud to support the brave women who are fasting on the National Mall to bring attention to the pain and suffering caused by our broken immigration system,” said Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard(CA-40), Chair of the Congressional Women’s Working Group on Immigration Reform. “The sacrifices made by these women to come to Washington D.C. speak to the fear they experience everyday of being permanently separated from their children and families. All they are asking is for the Republican Leadership to allow a simple up-or-down vote on immigration reform. Let’s give these courageous women the opportunity to realize the American Dream.”

“We thank all these great women as they unite here in DC to continue to bring attention to immigrant women suffering due to the Republican Congress’ failure to bring a comprehensive reform bill to the floor for a vote,” said Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32). All women must unite in the quest for our true American values to be adhered to, ensuring equality and respect for immigrant women and their families.”

“Being a representative of a district with such a great diversity, with constituents from near and far, I will stand with the more than 100 women fasting for a vote on bipartisan immigration reform,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18). “These courageous people, people that have sought opportunity in this great country and those that have strived to make a better life for their families through immense sacrifice deserve justice – they deserve comprehensive reform now.

“We cannot ignore the women who are fasting to bring a human face to the problems with our broken immigration system,” said Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27). “They show us the suffering of countless families splintered by our failing system. Nearly 70 percent of all women immigrants who have legal status came here through the family immigration system, and right now they face a 4.3 million-person backlog. This burden falls disproportionately on women and children, and fails our ideals as a nation. It’s time to put an end to this national disgrace and bring immigration reform to the finish line.”

“I’m proud to join these courageous women in fasting to draw attention to the overwhelming need for comprehensive immigration reform in this country,” said Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01). “I was honored to meet with these women this morning, who are fighting to keep their families together and ensure fair treatment of all immigrants. The time to act is now and to have an up-or-down vote in Congress.”

“I’m here today to join these women in saying enough is enough - the American people demand a vote on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Rep. Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Homeland Security Committee Border Subcommittee. “It’s been almost a year since the Senate passed a bipartisan package and too many families are being torn apart or living in fear waiting for the House Republicans to take action now.”

"The women fasting here today do so in the long tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. who put the cause of justice ahead of their own needs,” said Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01). “It is time for Congress to follow their example and act to pass comprehensive immigration reform immediately. In Southern Nevada, so many immigrant women work in back-of-the-house jobs and in the informal economy, cleaning and caring for children. This work has been neglected and devalued for too long. The millions of immigrant families across the country, including the 200,000 undocumented immigrants in Nevada, cannot wait any longer."

“I stand in solidarity with the women who are fasting in Washington, and I join them in demanding a vote on comprehensive immigration reform,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (NY-6). “I applaud the sacrifice they’re making in order to keep the light shined on the need to overhaul our nation’s immigration laws. It is well past time to fix our broken immigration system that has hurt too many people for far too long including women, children and families. The time for comprehensive immigration reform must be now.”