President Obama and first lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama shares advice for first-generation college students ‘Outnumbered’ host shares ‘9 Rules’ for success in new book Poll: Republicans view Netflix less favorably MORE met Friday with activists fasting for immigration reform on the National Mall.

The Obamas thanked the activists for their "sacrifice and dedication" during their visit with Fast For Families, according to a readout from a White House official. They spoke for about a half-hour to the group of protesters calling for Congress to pass legislation that would overhaul the immigration system.  Since Nov. 12, the activists have abstained from all food except water.

"It is not a question of whether immigration reform will pass, but how soon," the president said, according to a White House statement. "The only thing standing in the way is politics, and it is the commitment to change from advocates like these brave fasters that will help pressure the House to finally act."

President Obama wanted Congress to pass a reform bill by the end of this year, and has said the issue now lies in House Republicans’ hands.

Vice President Biden met with the activists last week as well as other top administration officials.