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Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) agreed Tuesday to join other activists in an ongoing fast designed to compel the House of Representatives to begin debating proposals to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.

At a ceremony on the Mall two blocks from the U.S. Capitol, Kennedy ceremoniously began his fast by accepting a small cross from Eliseo Medina, a longtime immigration rights activist and labor leader who was concluding a 22-day fast Tuesday.

Medina's fast will also be continued by Rev. Jim Wallis, of Sojourners. Kennedy plans to fast through midday Wednesday and "pass it on" to other activists Wednesday, he said in brief comments to reporters.