Cities across the United States experienced what a country without immigrants would be like last Thursday.
Several restaurants and businesses closed for the day to participate in “A Day Without Immigrants,” a protest against President Trump’s mass deportations, showing that America needs immigrants. Businesses around the country participated in this protest, including many in the Bay Area. The initial idea of “A Day Without Immigrants” spread over the country through social media. Both legal citizens as well as undocumented immigrants participated in the protest.
Although it wasn’t organized by a national group, many businesses planned for the absence of some of their employees in advance. In addition to staying home from work, the protest encouraged children and young adults to not attend school as well.
Quickly after the idea blossomed, everyone, including the federal government, was aware of what was to occur. The Pentagon warned its employees about multiple food services closing, including large national franchises such as Starbucks and Taco Bell, and to expect longer lines at the few concessions that remained open.
A Chicago chef, Rick Bayless, said in an interview, “What really makes our country great is the diversity we experience here. I can’t say enough about the lack of respect and the fear-mongering and hate-mongering that I’m seeing around us these days.”
The Bay Area was a largely affected area, having many well-known chefs close their restaurants in support of the protest. Several non-immigrant business owners also participated in the protest as well. Instead of closing, some businesses participated in other ways, such as donating proceeds made on that day to organizations to show support.
This protest was part of a developing movement to show dissatisfaction with President Trump and the policies he is setting forth. Similar to the women’s march on the day after Trump was inaugurated, Americans came together to show their impact they can have on the country.
Maria Fernanda Cabello, an immigration activist, stated “Through non-cooperation of our labor and by not purchasing we’re just making a really bold statement that this country is sustained by us.”
Many believe that this is just the start of several anti-Trump policy protests and marches.
The United States of America is a nation that was built upon and became great through immigration. We wouldn’t be an established country if it weren’t for the people who first immigrated here. Our country has been known as the “great melting pot of the world,” a place where multiple cultures blend together to create a diverse country of opportunity.
People around the world should be able to immigrate to The United States for the chance to better their lives, but only if it’s done legally. We should continue to be known as the “great melting pot” and allow people to achieve the American Dream through legal immigration.
Therefore, putting a ban on all immigration would be wrong. Stricter enforcement of our current immigration laws would help better protect our country from terrorism and follow the original ideas of the constitution.
“A day without immigrants” was an appropriate protest to fight for legal immigrants’ rights.