BREA ( — Immigration activists demonstrated outside the office of an Orange County congressman Monday to mark the beginning of a five-day fast urging lawmakers to pass immigration reform.

KNX 1070’s Mike Landa reports the activists launched the Fast for Families in Orange County at a demonstration outside of the Brea office of Rep. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton). Eleven people will participate in the fast.

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Activist Jessica Bravo said she is taking part in the fast to demand lawmakers pass immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

“They need to hear our voices and hear our strengths and our struggles,” Bravo said. “And that is one of the reasons why I’m fasting for the whole five days.”

Added activist Jan Mezlin: “Everybody has a certain right to be treated with dignity and respect. … To be able to get a job and not live in fear.”

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But Ira Melman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform said these priorities should be reversed.

“We need to look at immigration reform from the perspective of the American people, not the people who broke our laws,” Melman told KNX 1070’s Mike Landa.

According to Melman, immigration hurts Americans’ ability to get jobs and to access benefits and services.

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“Nobody comes here unless it’s in their interest to be here,” Melman said. “The question is what impact does it have on the American people.”