The congressman made the comment Monday in a national teleconference with Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition. They launched a campaign to pray, fast and push for immigration reform for 40 days.
More than 5,700 people have pledged to participate in the six-week campaign from Sept. 9 to Oct. 18.
Supporters are not necessarily supposed to fast from food. Their commitment can range from skipping meals, to a total food fast, to eliminating television or Facebook.
Grijalva has advocated a policy involving a pathway to citizenship, border security, and had been a proponent of the DREAM Act.
Addressing the broken immigration system is our most pressing domestic issue, and the next 40 days will be a test, he said.
“I really believe that these next 40 days will mark whether or not we are able to have a comprehensive package with a pathway.”
On Friday, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) wrote in an op-ed in the New York Daily News that Congress has a “once-in-a-generation chance” to pass immigration reform and fix a broken system.
That same day, Rep. Tom Cole, (R-Okla.) predicted the House will cancel its week-long recess it has scheduled for late September to tackle immigration.
At a town-hall event in August, Sen. John McCainJohn McCainSenate votes to elevate Cyber Command in military Senate sends annual defense bill to Obama's desk Trump really can't do much to reduce tensions with Putin's Russia MORE, (R-Ariz.) said the next few weeks would be a critical time “in the life or death” of immigration reform.
The Senate passed the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill, 68-32, in June. Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerBoehner compares Trump to Teddy Roosevelt Boehner: 'Thank God' I wasn't in the middle of election Ryan delays committee assignments until 2017 MORE, (R-Ohio) has said he won’t take up that version in the House.
Despite the urgent calls for reform, Syria is at the top of Congress’s to-do list, and will delay other legislative items on the agenda this Fall.