Tens of Thousands Strike on Day without Immigrants

RSS icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon

February 23, 2017
Dan DiMaggio, Sonia Singh
Labor Notes

Arkansas poultry workers, Brooklyn warehouse workers and house cleaners, Twin Cities roofers, and thousands of students in places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Charlotte, North Carolina. They were all among the tens of thousands who stayed home from work or school across the country during Thursday, February 16’s “Day without Immigrants.”

The action, largely spread over social media and informal networks in working-class immigrant communities, was a response to President Donald Trump’s promise to dramatically expand immigration enforcement and the wave of raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement the prior week.

“They’re calling us criminals and rapists,” said Jose Flemate, a member of Roofers Local 96 in St. Paul, Minnesota, who struck with his co-workers. “We’re not like that—we came to America looking for a better life, and we worked hard and built America.

“We want to make sure that people understand that this city would stop functioning if we weren’t there to build, or cook, or clean,” said Ligia Guallpa, an organizer with the Worker’s Justice Project in Brooklyn.

Read more

Tens of thousands of immigrant workers struck across the country during "Day without Immigrants" actions, including 30,000 in Milwaukee. Photo: Susan Ruggles (CC BY 2.0)

Article category: 
Rate this article: 
No votes yet