Claims they are “sacrificing themselves” for amnesty.

Washington (CNN) President Obama paid a visit Friday to a group of activists who have been fasting for weeks in the hopes of pressuring Congress to pass new immigration laws.

Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, visited the group on the National Mall to lend support for the cause. The “Fast for Families” protesters have given up all sustenance except water during their protest, which they hope will force lawmakers to take up immigration reform measures pending on Capitol Hill.

During his visit, Obama said he appreciated the attention the protesters were bringing to the issue, and that he was optimistic immigration reform could pass.

Obama has pushed for an overhaul to the nation’s immigration system, most recently during a speech in San Francisco on Monday. He praised the fasting protesters during those remarks, saying the group was “sacrificing themselves in an effort to get Congress to act.”

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