Jose Mejia Rodriguez, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, had already been working and living in Arizona for the past 14 years when he was arrested last October during a workplace raid conducted by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s deputies. Rodriguez, a father of three U.S. citizens, was taken to the Eloy Detention Center, where a judge told him he didn’t qualify for bail and would be deported immediately. It was then that Rodriguez contacted Puente Arizona, a grassroots organization that advocates for human rights. The group ultimately helped stop his deportation. He was released in June after being detained for eight months. Now, the 39-year-old is in Washington, D.C., to participate in a week-long fast intended to call on President Barack Obama to stop deportations of undocumented immigrants while Congress debates immigration reform. The fast is part of the week of actions organized by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and other labor groups.

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