A Day Without Immigrants

THE ISSUE

  • Cities across the nation participated in “A Day Without Immigrants” on Feb. 16, 2017
  • Some immigrants chose not  to shop, eat at restaurants, go to work, school, etc
  • The protest was a response to President Trump’s immigration agenda and travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries
  • The day came after Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 680 people
  • Some businesses supported employees skipping work, while hundreds of workers were fired

WHY IT MATTERS

This issue embodies a divisive national belief about immigrants/immigrant labor. Protestors were aiming to show that their presence in the workplace, education system, and economy has a large impact. Questioning the legality of firing these workers has been discussed as well. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has gone back and forth on the issue. It’s likely that some forms of worker protest would be protected in the context of President Trump’s immigration policies, but that protection would not necessarily include every tactic that workers might use. Perhaps the bigger issue, though, is those who were fired could see losing their job as a violation of their first amendment right to peacefully assemble.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT

  • How to have honest discussions about anti-immigrant sentiments. Where do these feelings come from?
  • Is the United States citizenship process unreasonable for immigrants?
  • Where do stereotypes of immigrants originate?