President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama met on Friday with immigration reform activists engaged in a prolonged fast intended to promote immigration reform.
As many Americans took to shopping malls to take advantage of "Black Friday" deals, the president and Mrs. Obama took time to meet with activists from "Fast for Families," who have abstained from all food except water since Nov. 12 to urge Congress to take up comprehensive immigration reform.
Obama encouraged the 18 activists and renewed his commitment to immigration reform, which has stalled in Congress amid Republican opposition to an overarching, comprehensive package. (The GOP in the House has insisted on breaking immigration reform into pieces, which Obama has said he could support as long as it matches all of his priorities.
"The president and first lady thanked Eliseo Medina, Dae Joong Yoon and all of the fasters for their sacrifice and dedication, and told them that the country is behind them on immigration reform," a White House official said in a readout of the meeting. "The president told them that it is not a question of whether immigration reform will pass, but how soon. He said that the only thing standing in the way is politics, and it is the commitment to change from advocates like these brave fasters that will help pressure the House to finally act."
First published November 29 2013, 10:55 AM