CITY HALL — Mayor Rahm Emanuel plans to fast for 24 hours beginning later Thursday in support of the push for immigration reform, saying "we are sending a clear message to Congress that the time is now."
Emanuel was in Washington, D.C., Thursday to join in a panel discussion on closing the so-called workforce skills gap and how to get training to those who need it.
But he announced plans to return to Chicago to join in a 24-hour fast in support of those who've been fasting on the National Mall in the nation's capital since November. That group supports the Dream Act and other attempts at immigration reform.
Emanuel was scheduled to join aldermen in the protest fast, starting with the Our Lady of Guadalupe Mass at St. Pius Church, 1919 S. Ashland Ave., in Pilsen at 7:15 p.m.
"On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we join people from all over the country who are making an incredible sacrifice 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," said Ald. Danny Solis (25th). "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."
According to the Mayor's Office, Aldermen Ricardo Munoz (22nd) and Lona Lane (18th) also planned to take part in the 24-hour fast.
The Fast for Families protest began in Washington, D.C., last month in an attempt to get the U.S. House of Representatives to call a vote on immigration reform. Since then, the fast has been joined by politicians such as U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-8th) and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and TV and movie star America Ferrera.