Following up with the recent arresting of about 650 people in raids across the United States, according to the NPR news, many immigrants were upset and ready to take action. On Thursday February 16 2017, the event “A Day Without Immigrants” took place throughout the country as many immigrants closed their shops and stayed at home in hopes of making their presence known and realized. According to the New York Times, the idea was initially spread through social media to the immigrant communities across America. Many took on the idea and decided to stay home to show their support for the group of people that they represent.
For every action, there is an explanation behind it and for these teenagers who stayed home with their parents, it is not an exception. Vanessa Perez said that “[she] stayed home because [she] wanted to be a part of the voice of the community.” By joining the protest of the immigrants, she hoped to change the way society looks at immigrants and help them realize and she is not the only one.
For Milton Hernandez, A Day Without Immigrants is his way “to prove to people the important role that the immigrants play” in the community and “show the country the benefits” that come from accepting the immigrants into the society. What is the reason behind their action that is to stay home with other immigrants out there? Every action has an explanation. Hernandez’s inspiration to fight for the immigrants comes from his hope “to help both illegal and legal immigrants” in America. “[The community] is missing out without the presence of immigrants” explained Hernandez.
For Perez, however, it deprives from her parents and her beliefs that immigrants are being misunderstood and put aside by people from America’s society. She is upset that people think of immigrants as lazy and having it easy because from her parents’ experience, it is the complete opposite. “My mother came here when she was 14... and did not have an opportunity at an education,” said Perez “She started from the bottom [and] work[ed] hard to get somewhere in life.”
Now, she is the leader of a medical group that is in charge of taking kids with disabilities. Her point is that just like others, immigrants face many obstacles and they work hard for the place that they stand right now. For her mom, she had to go on a life without a chance for education and to Perez, it is just unfair and injustice. In addition to her mother’s hardship, Perez was inspired to speak up because of the stereotype that immigrants took the job away from American-born citizens.
“The immigrants pick up jobs many would not do,” said Perez. “Who can say that we are stealing jobs when such careers are not wanted in the first place?”