(Lukas Kranjc contributed to this story.)
“A Day Without Immigrants” draws attention to the contributions immigrants make to our daily lives, while also protesting President Trump’s immigration policies.
FISHKILL – Throughout the Hudson Valley and across America, thousands of construction companies, restaurants, stores and other businesses are preparing for the workforce impact “A Day Without Immigrants” will bring today. In an effort of solidarity among immigrants and people living in the U.S. with green cards or visas, this orchestrated combination of boycotts and strikes is designed to increase awareness of the contributions immigrants make to U.S. business and culture – while at the same time, protesting recent policy initiatives of the new Trump administration.
Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists. ― President Franklin D. Roosevelt
President Trump has pledged to increase deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally, build a wall along the Mexican border, and ban people from certain majority-Muslim countries from coming into the U.S.
Though the travel ban restricting entry into the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen) is on hold, the uncertainty and concern created by the President’s Executive Order has inspired the protests.
Thousands of stores and restaurants across America have closed today to show the impact of immigrants in the workforce. This is a nationwide response, rallying demonstrators from all walks of life regardless of race or origin. Some businesses have decided to shut down completely while others plan to stay open for the day and contribute a share of their proceeds to nonprofit organizations that aid in immigration processing.
The boycott is also affecting schools around major cities, as parents are asked to keep their children at home in response to the protest. Professors have shared their thoughts on the matter, many expressing the pride they feel for students who stand up for their beliefs. Communities are still holding together, even as the Trump administration continues to pursue hard-line enforcement on immigration. This event continues a wave of protests in recent weeks, yet it has still failed to catch the attention of major lawmakers who have the ability to make changes to the current immigration policy.
Many recall the passing of the Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 just ten years ago, resulting in a similar outcry from the public on May 1, 2006. Over ten million immigrants, many undocumented, gathered to share their thoughts on the matter and how it would affect their lives in America. The bill’s creation under the Bush administration received a similar response from the Senate when compared to Donald Trump’s immigration proposal. With a majority of Republicans holding office, it is no surprise why these new executive orders are prevented from being overturned. The enthusiasm from crowds across the nation is still strong though, hoping to show the power they have in potentially influencing the decisions of legislators in their favor.