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America Goes "A Day Without Immigrants"

By Dan Gannon; For The Clock
On February 23, 2017

America Goes "A Day Without Immigrants" 

Dan Gannon

For The Clock 

On Feb. 16, people across the country came together in solidarity to go ‘a day without immigrants’ to protest President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban and proposal to build a wall at the United States/Mexico border in addition to cracking down on immigration policies.

The goal of the nationwide protests were to show Americans just how important immigrants are in everyday operations no matter how big or small of the community. The protests also came after Immigration and Enforcement agents raided numerous areas around the country.

A total of 680 people were arrested, reported NPR news, which as struck fear into immigrant communities. Although the Department of Homeland Security ensured that the raids were routine, many speculate that the raids were inspired by President Trump’s promise to crackdown on illegal immigrants in the country.

On Thursday, businesses across the country, particularly construction companies and restaurants, were affected when workers did not show up to work. Some of the businesses closed while others promised to donate their proceeds to Latino communitiesandorganizations. Matt Carr, owner of Little Red Fox restaurant in Washington D.C., stood with his immigrant workers who notified him that they would not be at work that day.

Carr told CNN, “Immigrants are the backbone of this country and the heart and soul of the service industry, without them, our small businesses would crumble. They are also part of our family here at Little Red Fox, and I, too, am worried about their future under this administration."

Not everyone was in support of workers taking the day off. Reports suggest that at least 100 immigrant workers have been fired so far from their jobs. JVS Masonry in Commerce City, Colorado fired at least 30 of their bricklayers, even though they notified their employer they would not be showing up for work. Bradley’s Coatings in Tennessee also fired employees. In a statement to The Atlantic they said, “The reason these employees missed work—to engage in peaceful demonstrations—had nothing to do with [Bradley Coatings]’s decision to terminate them.”

Students were also apart of the protests. School teacher Hayley Rowley tweeted a picture of her Charlotte, North Carolina classroom saying, “Empty desks today as over half my class stays home.” About 250 businesses alone were closed in Charlotte on the day of the protest, reports WFAE.

The fallout from the protests has been not in favor of those who participated. Many businesses are standing by the firing of their workers and has left many wondering if they will have a job in the upcoming weeks. 

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