Immigrants all over the country took part in peaceful protests yesterday, demonstrating in major cities and boycotting work, school and commerce.
“A Day Without Immigrants,” was a loosely organized social media driven event that brought thousands of immigrants together to protest President Trump’s immigration policies that many feel marginalize immigrants, unfairly targeting them and discounting their important contribution.
Activists of yesterday’s protest were making a statement that the country is sustained by immigrants. While the total number of yesterday’s protesters is unknown, the message of outrage and indignation resonated loudly and the impact was felt on businesses throughout the country. Many businesses supported their staff, closing for the day, posting signs on their locked doors while many others were simply forced to close due to staff shortages.
One Mexican-born chef in an Atlanta restaurant said that he wanted to take the day off in support of the effort, but did not want to leave his employer short staffed. His manager, sympathetic to his almost exclusively Mexican immigrant kitchen staff, shared that he would have supported him because his immigrant workers are the “most hard working and dependable” people on his staff.
In our own Austin backyard, hundreds marched from City Hall to the State Capitol chanting “Say it loud, say it clear, immigrants are welcome here.”
The continued influx of foreigners, now making over 42 million of America’s population, would seem to indicate that the U.S. continues to be a beacon of hope all over the world. The solidarity and support of yesterday’s protests would also seem to imply that America stands behind all its citizens and Washington shouldn’t turn a deaf ear on a loud cry to protect civil and human rights.