National Day Laborer Organization: A Case Study

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Elmer Chavarria illegally entered the US from Guatemala almost 20 years in hopes of escaping the violence in his hometown. In 2007 he married a US citizen, Cyndi, and together had a daughter. Unexpectedly, Elmer was assaulted and injured by police during a routine call in his Grand Rapids, Michigan home. After his release Elmer was advised to pursue immediate surgery for two herniated disks pinching his spinal cord which caused him severe back pain and numbness on his lower body. Before his surgery, U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement intervened and placed him at the Calhoun County Correction Center despite his medical condition. Elmer now, “risks permanent nerve damage, chronic pain, and disability” but despite knowing this information ICE has denied him prescribed medication and access to a neurosurgeon. Through their work, the Not1More Organization …show more content…
They identify as, “individuals, organizations, artists, and allies working to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration laws.” Their mission is to exploit the injustices behind immigration by becoming the voice for communities of people. Although their establishment is recent, they aim towards, “… challenging unfair deportation and unjust polity through organizing art, legislation, and action…reverse criminalization, build migrant power, and create immigration policies based on principles of inclusion.”
A strategy the Not1More organization uses to promote awareness of immigration issues is the use of art and similar works. Although protest and public statements are effective and most common, art represents a nontraditional method for personal and creative responses to activism. In her poem I Fear But I Pray, Emily Hernandez describes the struggles immigrants experience when reaching US soil only to encounter deportation threats once arrived. She shares:
Swimming in

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