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Society

Businesses Across US Close For 'Day Without Immigrants'

| by Ray Brown

Businesses across the country were shutting down on Feb. 16 in solidarity with their immigrant employees for the "Day Without Immigrants" protest.

"This seemed like an opportune moment for us to show the undocumented community support," said Ethan Smith, co-owner Hecho en Dumbo in New York City, reported USA Today. "We also hope it will show those who may wish to impose broader deportation measures that our community as a whole isn’t going to sit idly by and let neighbors be taken from their homes en masse. The president asserts that he 'has a big heart' in this regard so we’re hoping he might soon feel inclined to elaborate on that."

In Michigan, about 100 businesses, including restaurants, grocery stores and car dealerships reportedly closed for the day.

"The goal for today is for the president to notice how important immigrants are for the country and for the economy and how bad it would be for the economy if immigrants weren’t in this country," said Maria Sanchez, a community leader in southwest Detroit, according to USA Today.

World Street Kitchen, an Asian restaurant in Minneapolis, announced its support for the protest on Facebook.

"We are immigrants and our business relies on immigrants," the statement read. "We wouldn’t be here without them and you. We wholeheartedly appreciate and want to show our solidarity to everyone in this nation."

In all, more than 50 restaurants will be closed in the Twin Cities, reported WCCO.

Numbers of closures nationwide have not yet been determined, but the reach of the protest appears to have reached several major cities across the country.

"From doctors to dishwashers, immigrants are integral to daily life in the U.S.," tweeted Janet Murguia, president and CEO of National Council of La Raza.

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