13.3 percent of the US population are immigrants. 26 percent of the US population is either an immigrant or a first generation American. So what if all these people took today off--from work and school? From the looks of things, this isn't an isolated event. The hashtag, #DayWithoutImmigrants, is trending on Twitter, and people are reporting that even small communities are on board. One child reports that his school bus was mostly empty, a parent reports that a local restaurant is shut down for the day, and everyone is talking about it.
How is your business being affected? National origin discrimination laws prevent us from hiring only citizens, and you might be surprised at how many of your co-workers entered this world in a different country, and if not them, then their parents.
This one day strike is in reaction to President Trump's crack down on illegal immigrants. While Trump's policies are getting more press and publicity, Fortune reports that this is mostly an extention of policy from the Obama era. They write:
Under President Barack Obama, the government focused on immigrants in the country illegally who posed a threat to national security or public safety and recent border crossers. But despite the narrower focus, more than 2 million people were deported during Obama's time in office, including a record of more than 409,000 people in 2012. At one point, he was dubbed the "Deporter in Chief" by his critics.
Your day is likely to be affected by this protest in some manner. Whether it's co-worker with an empty desk today, or a substitute teacher at your child's school, or simply that your favorite restaurant is short-staffed or closed, you'll likely notice a difference. Even if only a small percentage of immigrants and their children participate, the overall group is so large, it would be hard to miss.
Trump talks a lot about building a wall with Mexico, but Mexicans certainly aren't the only people to immigrate--and not even a majority of immigrants. While they make up the largest group, at 28 percent (as of 2013), Southern and Eastern Asians are not far behind, making up 26 percent of immigrants. People from the Caribbean (10 percent), Central America (8 percent), South American (7 percent), the Middle East (4 percent), and sub-Saharan Africa (4 percent) make up the other large groups of immigrants.
The United States is a country of immigrants and today will make it hard for everyone to forget that.