By Rema Rahman
DENVER – Two activists on their third day of a hunger strike at an Obama campaign office in Denver said Friday they’re calling senators to stop the deportation of some illegal immigrants.
Veronica Gomez, 24, of Antioch, Calif. and Javier Hernandez, 23, of Denver, began camping out Tuesday on a couch in the Obama campaign field office in Denver. The office has since closed to the public.
“We’re definitely getting weak and tired,” Hernandez said as he approached his 63rd hour without food.
Hernandez said they plan to call Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., asking them to intervene on certain cases of deportation in their states that are tied up in court. They are encouraging the senators to introduce bills that would stop the deportation of young people.
The activists staged the strike to ask the president to sign an executive order barring the deportation of youth who could be eligible to stay if the DREAM Act passes. The act would allow illegal immigrants enrolled in college or the military to apply for citizenship.
In a written statement Thursday, the Obama campaign said it agrees “DREAMers” who serve in the military or go to college should become citizens. However, it said passing the DREAM Act in Congress ”requires Republicans to get out of the way.” The campaign said it had no immediate plans about what to do about the activists in the Denver office. They declined further comment Friday.
Gomez said she finds strength in the dozens of supporters who hold evening protests and candle light vigils in solidarity with their message.
“We’re not doing this for us. We’re doing this for the community as a whole,” Gomez said. “Sometimes I get emotional. These people don’t even know me.”
Gomez is part of a six-member group of students who are illegal immigrants walking from San Francisco to Washington to protest deportations of youth who would be eligible to stay if the DREAM Act was law. It has failed in Congress many times.