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I am a 25-year-old UC San Diego graduate and I taking on my second fast for fair immigration reform.

I was born in Oakland and have waited all of my life to meet my family from the Philippines. My mother obtained her citizenship before I was born and one of the first things she did was file for family visas for my aunts and uncles. After 25 years, we are still waiting. It has been a particularly hard road over the past five years. After the death of my father, my mother has suffered from depression, and longs for the comfort of her siblings. The visa situation is just another barrier that affects women more than men. Family visas are difficult to come by and men are granted work visas at a much higher rate than women.

Additionally, I am fasting because I have a cousin who is undocumented. My cousin, like my mother, works as a caregiver 10-12 hours a day. Like many immigrant workers, her employer does not provide her with healthcare, sick leave, or vacation time. She often has her hours cut or is underpaid. Despite the unfair conditions, my cousin wants to see comprehensive immigration reform passed if only to come out of the shadows and contribute openly to the country she has lived and worked in for so many years.

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