Rep. Kennedy joins immigration fast
December 3rd, 2013
01:11 PM ET
10 months ago

Rep. Kennedy joins immigration fast

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Joe Kennedy III on Tuesday joined a fast aimed at encouraging the House of Representatives to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

The freshman Democratic congressman from Massachusetts is among six activists who will replace current members of the "Fast for Families" group, many of whom are too weak to continue after 22 days of foregoing any sustenance except water. The group has been camped out on the National Mall  to protest the lack of progress on immigration measures pending in the House.

"We are a nation of immigrants and we are stronger and better because of it," Kennedy said, first in Spanish, then English. Kennedy spoke before a crowd of nearly 100 onlookers and several members of Congress, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, as well as Secretary of Labor Tom Perez.

The movement has also garnered attention from President Barack Obama, who stopped by the group's tent last Friday to express his support.

As a historical note, Kennedy's grandfather, Robert F. Kennedy, helped bring Cesar Chavez to the national eye when he joined the farm worker leader at the end of his 1968 fast, which lasted for 25 days.

The Democratic led Senate passed a comprehensive bill in June, with some bipartisan support, that would tighten immigration and border security laws while providing an eventual path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but the measure's gained little traction in the Republican controlled House.

House Speaker John Boehner has said the House will not take up the Senate bill, instead taking a piecemeal approach to passing legislation. It is unclear, however, if any immigration related bills will be on the agenda before the current Congress recesses at the end of the year.

– CNN's Z. Byron Wolf contributed to this report.


Filed under: Congress • House of Representatives • Immigration
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    This coincides with the previous Ticker article labeling this Congress a "Do Nothing" Congress. Why is the immigration bill the Senate passed dying a slow death in the House? WHY SPEAKER BOEHNER????

    December 3, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. just saying

    a publicity stunt by a nobody. yaaawwwnnnn.

    December 3, 2013 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. A True Conservative

    YES!! We must find a way to allow those who have broken our laws and come into this country illegaly to have a path to full citizenship! Allow them to taste of the bounty this country has to offer! Things like section 8 housing, food stamps, reduced college tuition, government supported healthcare and free cell phones!! It's only fair that our brothers and sisters are allowed to become dependent on the government for everything just like the rest of us!

    December 3, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. MTATL67

    Dang proud to have donated and supported his campagin and I don't even live in Mass. Good for him to bring attention to the lack of progress do to Republican obtructionism.

    December 3, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Enough is Enough

    But he's a Kennedy......that makes him somebody important...I just hope he can avoid jail time like Ted....and unlike other Kennedy's......

    December 3, 2013 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. J'Cincinnati'Redd

    Make them wait. I mean what choice do they really have?

    December 3, 2013 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Pregnant women typically spend around $20,000 to stay in the facilities during their final months of pregnancy and an additional month to recuperate and await their new baby's U.S. passport. Some prospective mothers misrepresent their intentions of coming to the United States, a violation of U.S. immigration law; however, it is not illegal for a woman to come to the U.S. to give birth.

    This law must change . It's become and industry , being abused by china .

    This status should only be granted to countries who grant the same if an American child was born in there country.

    December 3, 2013 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. @RI_Roger

    This tactic amounts to the equivalent to ransom for hostages.... if you pay now, you'll pay forever. The next social issue to start a fast will be for unionizing of babysitters... such an moral injustice.

    December 3, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  9. Tommy G

    Why do the Democrats care more about all the illegals in this country than they do about the millions of Americans that have had their health insurance cancelled as a reuslt of their negligence and Obamacare?

    How about paying attention to the CITIZENS of this country FIRST!

    December 3, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. brown

    Americans ... you have a right to say who is allowed to come into your home.

    Open your mouth!

    December 3, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. BillCunnane

    Let the Kennedy starve along with the illegals. The only reform needed is strict enforcement of current immigration laws and massive deportation of illegals along with their illegal kids.

    December 3, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Jerry Okamura

    Think of a bathtub full of water, when thinking about the illegal immigration issue. The water flowing into the bathtub represents the people entering this country illegally. The level of water that is in the tub, represents those people who are in this country illegally. The drain represents the number of illegals that are leaving the country willingly or unwillingly or are dying. Unless you turn off the faucet, more water will be filling the bathtub. If more water is going into the tub, then the amount going down the drain, the water level will rise. Unless you can figure out a way to stop people from entering this country illegally, more people will enter this country illegally. If more people are entering this country illegally, then are caught or leave voluntarily or die, like a bathtub where the more water is coming in, then is going down the drain, the water level will rise. You are making some progress if the water level is going down. You are losing the battle, if the water level is going up. You are treading water, if the water level remains at basically the same level. So, the question is, if they are going to propose “reforming the system”, will the water level drop significantly?

    December 3, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. zago

    Need no more proof that the House of Representatives if a dictatorship

    December 3, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. robertholt

    Twenty two days without food? Hell, I can't last twenty two hours without food.

    December 3, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. CryBabies

    Don't choke on thr water Joe.

    December 3, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  16. Fair is fair

    We're all gonna run out of food eventually. It's inevitable

    December 3, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  17. Ol' Yeller

    Enough is Enough

    But he's a Kennedy......that makes him somebody important...I just hope he can avoid jail time like Ted....and unlike other Kennedy's......

    Yeah, we Dems have a tendency to hold our politicians accountable, so you may be right, if he does something wrong or illegal, we will want him to answer for it.
    Were he a republicant he would most likely get a pardon, a pass, or maybe just re elected.

    December 3, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |