by Abril Serrano – Staff Reporter
A Day Without Immigrants, based on the 2004 movie directed by Sergio Arau, “A Day Without A Mexican”, became the center of attention on Feb. 16 in many cities across the U.S. Thousands of immigrants came together nationwide to protest the discrimination and violation of many undocumented and documented immigrants’ lawful and human rights.
We acted to get a simple message across: we contribute more to this country than you might think, and we will not continue to sit back as we are devalued and violated.
The boycott called for the closing of businesses, not attending work or school, and abstaining from shopping to show how much immigrants contribute to this country no matter their immigration status.
The movement was formed through social media following the accusations President Trump has made against immigrants throughout his political campaign and presidency.
In his inaugural address, Trump said, “While there are many illegal immigrants in our country who are good people, this doesn’t change the fact that most illegal immigrants are lower-skilled workers with less education who compete directly against vulnerable American workers.”
This statement is in opposition of previous statements in which he said DACA recipients were, “incredible kids.”
One of the most influential factors of the strike that took place in Tacoma, Washington dealt with the detention of a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient. Daniel Ramirez Medina who was arrested by immigration and customs enforcement (ICE) agents on Feb. 10 in Seattle.
Ramirez was sleeping at his father’s house when an ICE agent came to the house looking for Ramirez’s father. He was not at the property during the time, so instead they decided to arrest Ramirez and take him into an immigration detention center. Ramirez explained to the agents that he had a work permit under the DACA program, which granted 750,000 undocumented immigrants a two-year protection from deportation and work permits in 2012.
The agents violated Ramirez’s rights of protection from deportation as well as his arrest without a warrant taking him into the immigration detention center in where ICE is still trying to strip Ramirez from his DACA protection. The case of Ramirez is open waiting to see a judge in order to determine if he can be granted permission to stay in the States or if he will be deported. The news of Ramirez spread rapidly leading many DACA recipients to wonder if their rights will also be violated under Trump’s administration
The fear of countless undocumented families of being separated brought them together to prove that they are more than just “illegal” in this country. To imagine a life without 11.1 million undocumented immigrants is the idea of a Day Without Immigrants. We stood to prove that undocumented people help contribute to this country and that no matter our immigration status, we are all human beings fighting for our ideal American dream.