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Hunger strikes used to highlight roadblocks to U.S. citizenship

Activists trying to make a lasting impression have many tools at their disposal. This is true whether their efforts take place in North Carolina or elsewhere. Hunger strikes have grown in popularity recently as an effective way to highlight the some of the roadblocks encountered by those seeking U.S. citizenship.

Protestors around the country are using fasting as a way to emphasize their point that many of the laws surrounding immigration practices are in dire need of reform. One such protest focused on deportation and lasted more than two weeks. Others center on finding a way to allow the millions of people living here illegally a way to become legal citizens. Participants say they are just getting started.

Hunger strikes are not the only way activists choose to gain attention for their cause. Protestors have secured themselves to a variety of structures and vehicles to make their point publicly. They have also mounted campaigns where groups request amnesty or allowed themselves to be detained so they might help others in similar situations.

A national campaign meant to further draw attention to the plight of immigrants and the laws with which they are governed is scheduled to begin next month. Activities will vary from state to state but will have an overarching theme, according to organizers. They say hunger strikes, as well as public demonstrations and events, will be used to drive the key points home.

Even if some protest efforts in North Carolina are different than those in other locations, most share similar characteristics. All are focused on making U.S. citizenship more universally available. For the people they are trying to help, success cannot come too soon.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, Why pro-immigrant activists are turning to hunger strikes, Lourdes Medrano, March 8, 2014

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