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  February 16, 2017

A Day Without Immigrants: Thousands Hold Boycotts and Demonstrations Against Trump


We bring you the voices of some of the thousands who are refusing to work, go to school, and shop and instead are rallying against raids and deportations carried out by the Trump administration
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JAISAL NOOR: It's been called, A Day Without Immigrants. Around the country immigrant workers, and their advocates, are withholding their labor, not going to school, not shopping or eating out, and instead, rallying and demonstrating, against Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Hundreds have been detained, or been deported in the past week. Rallies were held in cities like, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York, Detroit, among many others. We spoke to some of the hundreds who marched in Baltimore.

WOMAN 1: Today we did, as a national day without immigrants. So, as a solidarity, all the Latino communities, not just Latino, but everyone is showing us today, in order to support about everything that it was happening about race.

Same thing, what we doing on Sunday, but now it is more about a day without immigrants. And we ask all the community to join us to support us today.

JAISAL NOOR: So, you're asking people to not go to school, not do any shopping.

WOMAN 1: Yes. Yeah. For that's why today, nationally, it is a day without immigrants. So, you will see a lot of business closed, and the kids are involved. I didn't send my son to school either.

JAISAL NOOR: And what message do you want to send Donald Trump today?

WOMAN 1: That we are... The Hispanic community and the Latino community are more united than ever.

JAISAL NOOR: So, we see dozens of people gathered in Baltimore.

WOMAN 2: And I feel that we contribute to this country very much. And I think that our American brothers and sisters need to know. Those that are following immigrants, we have allowed in this country. We do a lot in this country. We can make this country great again, too.

JAISAL NOOR: And how do you respond to Donald Trump's deportation raids? He says he's locking up criminals. How do you respond to that?

WOMAN 2: We are not criminals. We are people that contribute to this country. We do a lot. If you get food on your table, it's because there are many people working hard on the farms. If you have service in a hotel, it's because there are many immigrants working there. If you have you have your houses clean, it's because that many people were at that...

Who else is going to do that? Who else is going to work with minimum wages here? But they do. And they do it with love, they do it with effort, and they want to stay here, and support their children and their families. Don't separate families.

MAN: Ah... We're going to show that we're in support of our land community. And being Hispanic myself, I am extremely honored and humbling, to show the numbers and doing the march together, and for a good cause.

JAISAL NOOR: And what kind of economic impact do you think it's going make today?

MAN: I think it's a way to demonstrate that with numbers, you know, that's really what volume is, and especially economically, and the people that contribute by paying the taxes and all that. So, we don't want any injustice, we don't want the profiling, we want our ICE agents to do their job and treat humans.

We don't want the people to be profiled by the way they look, and asking them for papers. Yeah, there's laws here to protect even the undocumented, believe it or not. So, you know, it's called due process, and equality. So, that's why we're here today.

JAISAL NOOR: Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. His first executive order accelerated the ongoing deportation process President Obama had already started. Obama deported a record number of immigrants, and many fear Trump will harness his programs already in place.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump's immigration and custom enforcement detained its first DACA recipient, Daniel Ramirez Medina, who was brought to the United States as a child, and given a work permit during the Obama administration, according to a lawsuit challenging detention in Seattle Federal Court. Some 750,000 people have been granted a similar status from Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Meanwhile, Arizona mother, Guadalupe Garcia De Rayoa, was recently deported after a routine ICE check-in. Her crime was working in the country while being undocumented. This has prompted some, like Jeanette Vizgurerra, to take sanctuary in Denver's First Unitarian Church, defying deportation orders.

JEANETTE VISGUUERRA: This is not just an attack on me; it's an attack on the whole entire immigrant community. The only thing that I've done, is use false documents to put food on the table of my family.

JAISAL NOOR: Fearing deportation, she's chosen not to go to her scheduled meeting with federal immigration enforcement officials. Instead, she's taking refuge in the church, where the Reverend says she can stay as long as necessary.

For ongoing coverage of this important story, go to therealnews.com.

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