The activists who went without food for a month to demand that Congress act on immigration reform, announced Monday that they are taking the Fast for Families protest on the road.
The campaign will go on until April 9, organizers told a press conference in Washington.
The tour comes at a time when the Republican Party, headed by House Speaker John Boehner, is working on a list of principles it will approve as the basis for passing immigration reform in 2014, and which are already known to include legalizing the undocumented but exclude a path to citizenship.
One of the leaders of Fast for Families, former Service Employees International Union executive Eliseo Medina, said comprehensive immigration reform must include citizenship.
Noting that Republicans at first opposed immigration reform and that, with time, they have softened their position, he said the new campaign would advance the process of bringing the GOP around on the citizenship question.
Medina was part of the core group who went without food for 22 days while camped out on the Washington Mall last autumn.
Dubbed the “Fast for Families Across America,” the tour will be split into two phases, with each of them visiting 50 districts.
During its first stage, which will continue until Feb. 21, the activists will give speeches, visit the district offices of members of Congress, and meet continually with different social, religious, union and business groups.
In the second phase, two buses will leave Los Angeles on Feb. 24 and, after crossing the country along parallel northern and southern routes, they are scheduled to meet in Washington on April 9.
The original protest on the Mall was visited by President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Throughout their previous protest, the activists were supported with temporary fasts, generally for a single day, by thousands of people around the country, an experience that, according to Medina, they hope will be repeated this time by “thousands and thousands of people.”