Chicago Priest Goes On Hunger Strike To Support Dreamers

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A Chicago priest is denying himself food in an attempt to stand up for Dreamers until the government decides how to resolve the issue.

So far, Rev. Gary Graf has not eaten food in 10 days, solely relying on a diet of water and protein powder, reports the Chicago Tribune.

“My energy level is slowing down a little bit. There are some peaks and valleys but for the most part, I have not felt any other effects of the fast,” Graf told the Chicago Tribune. “I feel fine. I continue to perform my duties.”

Graf decided to start fasting for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program recipients one Sunday after a January mass. A longtime supporter of illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children, the priest wants to keep on his hunger strike until the program is set to expire March 5, as decided by President Donald Trump.

“Yes, it’s dramatic,” he added, noting that he will continue as long as there are no health complications. “It’s a way in which we pray for our political leaders and invite them to do their jobs.”

Trump announced the end of the DACA in September, with a six-month delay to give Congress the chance to fix the program. Democrats and Republicans fought over adding protections for DACA recipients to a stop-gap funding bill, with Sen. Chuck Schumer voting to shut down the government because the bill did not do anything for them.

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