“A Day Without Immigrants” on Feb. 16 was a protest and boycott by immigrants all over the country to demonstrate the importance of immigration in the United States. Many Venice High students, immigrants or children of immigrants, participated by missing school. Other people who participated missed work, and many did not even leave their homes.
“I did not come to school because even though I was born in the United States,” said sophomore Tyler Stoner. “My mother is from China and I lived there for a couple of years, I know how much immigration is important to this country and I think a day without immigrants was extremely needed.”
“I had a handful of students missing in my AP Spanish class and about five students missing on each of my other classes,” said Spanish teacher Andrea Page. “I think it was a decision between the students and their parents and I think everyone has the right to protest but they need to be willing to sacrifice a day of school or work. I respect it and I would’ve stayed at home myself out of empathy for all immigrants but I feel like it’s my job to teach to the students who did come to school.”
The movement consisted of staying at home or protesting to show what the United States would be like if there were no immigrants., at least Two schools in Washington, D.C. were closed for the day, according to an article published by NPR on the day of the strike. It was mostly a response to Trump Administration’s immigration policies and agenda, which includes a pledge to build a wall along the U.S. and Mexican border, as well as a travel ban on citizens of several Muslim countries. Since the elections in November, immigrants have felt oppressed by President Trump, but their concerns have only increased as he presented his plans for immigration.
Besides students missing school, businesses owned by immigrants were closed. Unfortunately, not all immigrants were able to participate because some cannot afford the luxury of missing work; others were encouraged by their bosses to stay at home. The movement also counted with the minor participation of non-immigrants who felt empathy towards the cause.
“I supported A Day Without Immigrants because I have a lot of people in my family who are illegal and I don’t think it’s fair for them to be sent back,” said Junior Carlos Miramontes.