Some Arizonans join in on 'Day Without Immigrants'
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - Thursday was "A Day Without Immigrants" for Arizona and other parts of the country, as people stood up for immigrant rights, in response to Donald Trump's immigration policy.
Rallies were held in cities across the country. Some students and employees also did not show up for school or work on Thursday. Some employers even shot down their business to show what a community without immigrants would look like, and how it would impact the economy.
"A Day Without Immigrants" was a grassroots protest that was strictly organized through Social Media, and just a handful of businesses took part in Arizona.
The owner of Barrio Cafe shut down her three restaurants, and signs at each location explained the closure to unaware customers, and encouraged others to participate. The closure was also announced on Barrio Cafe's Facebook page.
In addition, the Tres Leches Cafe also closed in solidarity.
In Flagstaff, a few restaurants also shut their doors on Thursday.
"Immigrants are necessary to this country, and we are the backbone to every job in America," said immigrant advocate Elias Bermudez. "We do the work no one wants to do."
While many immigrant-run businesses in Arizona did not close their doors, some managers did say they notice fewer customers in their stores than usual.
"We are suffering, so a lot of people are cooperating in silence," said Bermudez.
In Phoenix, the Phoenix Union High School District saw a spike in absences. 95% of students in that school district are reportedly minorities. At a couple of schools, about a third of the student population were absent.
There was no increase in absences among the staff.
"It's not just political, it's personal to a lot of our kids," said Craig Pletenik with the Phoenix Union High School District. "82% of our students are Latino."
Pletenik, however, said he does not believe that being absent is the best way to protest.
"Is it the best way to protest? No," said Pletenik. "The best way to protest is stay in school, get good grades, move on, and be successful."
Thursday's "Day Without An Immigrant" was the first one to happen nationwide.