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.