Hundreds of clergy and laypeople from Colorado have begun a 10-day fast to demand immigration reform as a "moral imperative."

The campaign, in which community leaders and DREAMers - undocumented foreigners brought to the United States as children - are participating, is an element of the national Fast4Families initiative.

This effort, organized by Together Colorado, was launched at the beginning of November and is pushing for respect for the human dignity of the 11 million undocumented people estimated to be living in the United States.

"Faith communities are fasting, in an effort to both demonstrate their commitment to ending family separations and further remind Congress of the moral imperative to pass reform with a pathway to citizenship this year," Together Colorado's Stephanie Gustafson said."

"Fasting has been part of religious traditions for thousands of years," she said.

"It is also part of the prophetic tradition to give public witness to injustice," Gustafson said, pointing to Old Testament prophets and modern-day figures such Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Cesar Chavez.

Every day that passes without immigration reform, "1,100 aspiring Americans are deported and ripped apart from their families because of our profoundly immoral immigration system," the activist said.

That figure arises from the fact that during 2012 an average of 1,123 people each day - or 409,849 in all - were deported, according to official statistics.

More than 50 community leaders, religious leaders and others met on Sunday at Pope Pius X Catholic Church in Aurora, near Denver, to hold a vigil marking the beginning of the fast. EFE