On the 40th day of his hunger strike to protest Georgia’s strict new immigration law, HB 87, Salvador Zamora delivered a letter to Governor Nathan Deal’s office, requesting a meeting with the governor.
Zamora told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has lost 30 pounds since his protest began on July 1, and he is suffering from dizziness, headaches and leg pain. He said he will consider ending his strike if Deal grants him a meeting.
Similar to laws passed in Arizona and Alabama, HB 87 requires many businesses to use the federal E-Verify database to determine the immigration status of workers, and calls on law enforcement officers to request proof of citizenship from crime suspects. The latter provision has been blocked in federal court.
In his letter, Zamora said he remains willing to sacrifice his “immigrant body,” already damaged by years of hard agricultural labor, to the cause of overturning HB 87. He said the law is unjust, and specified it will hurt Georgia’s restaurant and agriculture business, carpet manufacturing and poultry industry. He said the law will devastate a “voiceless minority of Hispanic immigrants being driven from their homes.”
So far this year, Alabama, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah have passed immigration laws similar to HB 87. The federal government has filed for an injunction to block Alabama’s law from going into effect.