(Politico) – President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama met informally with immigration activists on the National Mall on Friday.
They visited individuals taking part in Fast for Families to “offer their support for those who are fasting on behalf of immigration reform,” a White House official told the pool report. The Obamas spoke with the activists for about half an hour.
The immigration activists have been fasting since Nov. 12, abstaining from all food except water and “are calling for the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives to take up action on comprehensive immigration reform,” the official said.
The Obamas were joined by 18 people who are fasting for one day and two who have been fasting for 18 days, the White House official said.
”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,” a White House official told the pool report.
According to the White House, others who have visited Fast for Families in recent weeks are Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, chief of staff Denis McDonough, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Muñoz and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett.