Remaining Hunger Striker Presents Letter to Gov. Deal

On Tuesday, Salvador Zamora delivered a letter to Deal's office outlining conditions to be met before he stops his fast.

On the 40th day of his hunger strike, Salvador Zamora delivered a letter to Gov. Nathan Deal outlining what he would like to see happen before he will end his fast. Zamora was in a wheelchair and surrounded by supporters.

Zamora, a Mexican immigrant who became a U.S. citizen last year, has been fasting as a demonstration of his opposition to Georgia's new immigration law, the result of House Bill 87.

His only sustenance has been water and juice, except for the five days in mid-June when he ate yogurt to take antibiotics, per doctor's orders.

Below is the letter presented to Deal:

Dear Governor Nathan Deal,

 I. Salvador Zamora, have been on a hunger strike since July 1st , the day HB 87 went into effect. 

 My immigrant body, already weakened from years of toil and damaging work in tomato fields, grows increasingly compromised after 40 days of fasting with a loss of 30 pounds.

However, I have been left with no alternative method of protest.

Therefore, I sacrifice my body over what I firmly believe is an immoral law.

During these 40 days, my soul grows stronger and my mind expands in clarity because I have had ample time to read, study and think.

I found St. Thomas Aquinas said it best, and I paraphrase, “An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.  Any law that uplifts human personality is just.  Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

As governor, you don’t need me to point out what you already know about the negative economic impact HB87 has had on Georgia’s Agri-business, the hospitality/restaurant business, carpet manufacturing, the poultry industry and many other businesses.   

But it is my hope that we can meet, not as adversaries, but as men to have an honest dialogue about HB 87 with its impact and on a voiceless minority of Hispanic immigrants being driven from their homes after years of contributing to society while seeking only simple secure lives.

I hope we can meet to discuss growing Georgia’s economy from the ground up by encouraging small businesses, recognizing the potential of a young vibrant workforce, refilling strip malls and abandoned apartments.  The purchasing power of this population will be missed everywhere: from malls to Walmarts, to laundry mats.

I hope we can meet to stop the incarceration only mentality you have stated is too expensive for the state; plus I hope our dialogue can boost the poor education ranking of Georgia with your embracing the Dream Act and Georgia Dreamers. 

In peace,

Salvador Zamora

Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino August 11, 2011 at 09:04 PM
Pam is right in that you can't argue with me because I present facts and not emotional prejudices based on myths. Once someone is tied to his or her emotion based prejudices then it is very difficult to relinquish them, i understand, however that does not make them right. And yes, prejudice leads to discrimination and hate and hate crimes directed towards those who are the subjects of the prejudicial myths. (We have been down this road many times before regarding blacks, Muslims and past immigrant groups including my ancestors.) California and the nation as a whole is suffering due to financial mismanagement, greed and corruption and is using immigrants as the scapegoats. And yes, I can present facts and research to back these statements up--but do you really care about the facts is the main question here. Already one of you have stated to me in past posts that your perceptions are colored by your own suffering and unemployment--which is very honest, and I appreciate that, but it still doesn't justify blaming others--especially those who had no part in causing that suffering. And I and the organizations I represent have offered in town hall meetings and through the media to help solve the problems of anyone who is out of work, or healthcare, or other issues--however it appears that people who complain about the immigrants don't want help or to help themselves but are only seeking someone to blame. Sad..but my offer still stands.
Pam J August 12, 2011 at 12:53 AM
Richard, quite frankly, it doesn't matter how much "good" the immigrants are doing, it just matters if they are here legally. You can present as much financial data as you want showing how much money they pump into the economy when they buy things, but they are not paying federal or state taxes from their paychecks. None of us are talking about the people who are here legally. Just the ones who aren't. Allow us to believe that the law should be followed and that you should not be "rewarded" for breaking it. And please stop talking about our immigrants from 100 plus years ago. Things are not the same. They helped build this country and we did not have immigration laws. There are immigrants that enter this country legally who are helping, and I welcome them. But we have laws that say you need proper papers to enter this country. I honestly don't know what part of that you don't understand.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino August 12, 2011 at 04:31 PM
Pam, I really don't care about their economic benefit but that is what you people use against them based on myths, so I must present the facts. To me this is a human rights situation, not an economic one. So, once again, to dispel the myths you and others like to believe and spread: 1) The IRS and the SS administration state that they are paying millions into the coffers and are not receiving services, causing an economic windfall. 2) They were invited here by you and every other consumer, company and govt agency who benefited by their labor--which translates into every American. We all conspired to break the law in order to benefit economically--so if anyone is illegal then everone is in relation to this issue. The purpose of studying history is to learn and hopefully not repeat the same mistakes. You like to re-write immigration history but if there were no laws how come my Italian grandparents changed their names and snuck into this country from Canada with false papers (like many other immigrants of the time). How soon we forget where we came from. Yes, they helped build this country and so have the current wave of immigrants--in fact there is very little difference in the circumstances of their immigration. Sadly, the opposition to them is the same as the opposition to the Italians, Irish, Blacks, etc. Isn't it time we learned how to welcome the growth and diversification of our country and realize that is its greatness?
Pam J August 12, 2011 at 05:49 PM
I honestly don't think the illegal aliens are helping make this country any better. If they have jobs, it's low-paying jobs with no benefits. Most of them are either living with relatives or renting places to live. Drive around any area that is highly Hispanic and you can tell because, quite frankly, they are not the neatest people out there. We are in the year 2011. Things are radically different than they were even 20 years ago. I think you need to look at things as they are today, not as they were when your ancestors came over. Our country is in trouble right now and we don't need the added burden of trying to take care of people who shouldn't even be here. A human rights situation? Yes, it may be but those humans broke the law. If you have a time machine and want to transport us back to the late 1800's and early 1900's, go right ahead and we can be on the same page.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino August 17, 2011 at 07:46 AM
Pam. you are certainly entitled to your opinion (though, in my book, not you or anyone is entitled to spread myths based on prejudice about anyone or any group and expect that they will not be defended and the myths and prejudices debunked), and many Americans feel that they are a great benefit (like I, based on both personal experience and research). Some of the statements you made regarding Hispanics are highly prejudicial and racially biased because many poor areas---white, Black or Hispanic--look the same, so why single out Hispanics. And many of the poor Hispanics are citizens who are born here. So this has nothing to do with illegal immigration. On the other hand, I can drive around many neighborhoods where Hispanics live and their houses are nicer and better kept than yours and mine. You really have no clue about them so you should not be making such statements. Regarding 20 years ago or today--humans are humans, diversity is good, immigrants are beneficial and prejudice towards any racial or cultural group is detrimental towards us all. We are not taking care of any immigrants but, in fact, they have taken care of us and added more to our economy and culture than many of us are doing with their excellent work ethics and family values. Yes, they, and most of us, have broken the law--and we pay our penalty, especially for minor infractions (like coming here illegally, a minor civil offense) and move on as productive citizens.


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