Day without Immigrants

By: Luke Mathias

On Thursday, February 16, 2017, immigrants all across the country participated in the event known as “A Day Without Immigrants.” On this day, thousands of immigrants didn’t go to work, didn’t spend money, or do anything that involved spending money. The goal of this was to show the Trump administration how much immigrants affect the national economy. It had a mix of positive and negative responses. Some business owners showed support to the cause, while others condemned it.

When President Trump’s executive order to put immigration on halt was made, it was met with much backlash from immigrant communities. They felt that this is not something that America should do. They believe that the whole point of the United States is that it offers freedoms to people who seek them. The original settlers who came here centuries ago were also immigrants. Mass protests happened all around the country. Spreading the message that the country has come to the point where we need immigrants to prosper.

In order to show this idea to everyone, the “Day Without Immigrants” was planned. The idea is that if immigrants were suddenly gone from American society, there would be a negative impact on daily life. The tough labor jobs, the ones that most people don’t want, would be shown to have importance.

When the day came, thousands of immigrants participated in the event. They didn’t go to their jobs, students missed their classes, and stores received little to no business from immigrants. There were business owners who supported this cause, and thus allowed their immigrant employees to participate. In order to make up for it, they had their other employees do more work ahead of time. Other business owners were not as supportive of this event. Over a hundred immigrant employees were fired because they purposely missed their jobs.

The impact of this day varies depending on who your looking at. Your small time business owner might possibly look at his immigrant employees in a new light. As for the Trump administration, the impact would most definitely significantly smaller. The president is still committed to his immigration ban, and there is no reason to believe that will change anytime soon. What you can guarantee on is how this did unify many people who are against the ban. “The boycott is really a call of solidarity among immigrants, both with and without legal documentation, and their allies to resist what they see as an injustice,” said Spanish 2 teacher Mr. Leuschel. We can not tell what exactly how this day will affect future protests, but we can guess that there will be more cohesion from that group.

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