Immigrants Explain Why They Worked During ‘A Day Without Immigrants’ Boycott

On Thursday (Feb. 16) Americans across the country felt an absence in schools and the workplace, as #ADayWithoutImmigrants demonstrated that strength truly comes in numbers.

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The one-day protest came to be over President Donald Trump’s views on immigration as well as the recent Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. As thousands took to the streets, other immigrants decided to head to work.

“I find myself in a weird spot today. As a product of an immigrant mother, I stand with #adaywithoutimmigrants #daywithoutimmigrants wholeheartedly,” Andrea Torres, an educator from California posted to Instagram. “However, with the job I have, I have the privilege of getting paid even if I miss work. Not only do I get paid, but another job is being created by getting a sub, so after a long contemplation, in my eyes missing work would not only defeat the purpose of this act, but it would also harm it. So I am choosing to join this movement by not buying anything. And making sure that I thank those #immigrants that I encounter.”

Torres wasn’t the only one to show her solidarity in another way. Vocativ points out small businesses like Unum, a DC eatery, took the opportunity to inform customers about the plights that foreign-born residents face and how they can help. “We feel our customers should gain first-hand knowledge and realize how important, hard working and dedicated our immigrant staff work every day and what it is like without them,” they captioned an Instagram post.

NBC News reports rallies took place in Chicago, Washington D.C and New York after word of the protest spread naturally through conversations on and offline. “It seems immigrants, especially Latinos, it seems we are under attack,” said celebrity chef José Andrés. Born in Spain, Andrés kept his restaurants closed for the boycott. “It seems we are part of the American dream, but somehow it seems that America is not recognizing what we are doing.”

See touching testimonies to the movement below.

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