On February 16th, 2017, immigrants took a stand and decided to strike against the nation. A day without immigrants began on social media. People shared fliers of the boycott with instructions of what to do. “Do not attend work. Do not eat at restaurants. Do not send your children to school,” and so on.
Immigrants chose to reach out through social media because that’s where everyone gets their news. With President Trump’s inauguration, fear swept undocumented immigrants. His proposal to increase border security and build a higher wall has businesses scared for the future. The auto auction I work for says the market has never been this slow, but the feedback I get from mechanic shops says it’s all due to politics. Dealers are afraid to get stuck with inventory they won’t be able to sell.
On Thursday, immigrants chose to take a stance and prove to Trump just how valuable they really are. Immigrants refused to spend money on #UnDiaSinInmigrantes and showed how much they’re able to contribute to the economy. Like the Women’s March that took place in January, this strike was used to empower and joincity’s. Photos across Instagram, Facebook, and the local news showed us how united the nation could be. People retweeted about protests downtown and showed off pictures of individuals who decided to take a stand within their community.
Businesses heavily employed by immigrants like McDonalds, Mi Rancho, and local construction sites were some of the many places closed. About 20% of foreign born people work in a 14.4 million restaurant industry, says the National Restaurant Association. Students were also apart of the protest. About 20,000 students were absent in Austin and students in Dallas were seen walking out as well.
This day not only marked #ADayWithoutImmigrants but it also marked a change for the coverage of minorities in the media.