Im­mi­grant work­ers, fam­i­lies to protest by stay­ing home

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - By Er­rin Haines Whack

PHILADELPHIA >> Or­ga­niz­ers in cities across the U.S. are telling im­mi­grants to miss class, miss work and not shop on Thurs­day as a way to show the coun­try how im­por­tant they are to Amer­ica’s econ­omy and way of life.

“A Day With­out Im­mi­grants” ac­tions are planned in cities in­clud­ing Philadelphia, Wash­ing­ton, Bos­ton and Austin, Texas.

The protest comes in re­sponse to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and his 1-mon­thold ad­min­is­tra­tion. The Repub­li­can pres­i­dent 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. He also has blamed high un­em­ploy­ment on im­mi­gra­tion.

Em­ploy­ers and in­sti­tu­tions in some cities were al­ready ex­press­ing sol­i­dar­ity Wed­nes­day with im­mi­grant work­ers. Wash­ing­ton restau­ra­teur John An­drade said he would close his busi­nesses Thurs­day, and David Suro, owner of Te­qui­las Restau­rant in Philadelphia and a Mex­i­can im­mi­grant, said he also planned to par­tic­i­pate.

In New Mex­ico, the state with the largest per­cent­age of His­panic res­i­dents in the na­tion, school of­fi­cials wor­ried that hun­dreds of stu­dents may stay home on Thurs­day.

“We re­spect­fully ask all par­ents to ac­knowl­edge that stu­dents need to be in class every day to ben­e­fit from the ed­u­ca­tion

they are guar­an­teed and to avoid fall­ing be­hind in school and life,” prin­ci­pals with the Al­bu­querque Pub­lic Schools wrote in a letter to par­ents.

Stu­dents who take part in the protest will re­ceive an un­ex­cused ab­sence, Al­bu­querque school of­fi­cials said.

Or­ga­niz­ers in Philadelphia said they ex­pect hun­dreds of work­ers and fam­i­lies to par­tic­i­pate.

“Our goal is to high­light the need for Philadelphia to ex­pand poli­cies that stop crim­i­nal­iz­ing com­mu­ni­ties of color,” said Erika Alm­iron, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Jun­tos, a non­profit group that works with the Latino im­mi­grant com­mu­nity.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Ken­ney is among lead­ers in sev­eral cities na­tion­wide who have vowed to main­tain their “sanc­tu­ary city” sta­tus and de­cline to help fed­eral law en­force­ment with de­por­ta­tion ef­forts.

Many peo­ple who make the choice to skip work Thurs­day will not be paid in their ab­sence, but so­cial me­dia posts en­cour­ag­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion stressed that the cause is worth the sac­ri­fice.

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