Immigrants across US are going on strike to protest Donald Trump's deportations

'From doctors to dishwashers, immigrants are integral to daily life,' says president of Latino advocacy group

Harriet Agerholm
Thursday 16 February 2017 10:50
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A series of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids throughout the New York City area have sent fears of deportations throughout New York's heavily immigrant communities
A series of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids throughout the New York City area have sent fears of deportations throughout New York's heavily immigrant communities

Immigrants across the US are set to launch a mass boycott as part of a strike that promises to bring businesses in several cities across the country to a standstill.

The strike, dubbed "A Day Without Immigrants", is a reaction to the xenophobia encapsulated by President Donald Trump's move to increase the deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally.

Organisers expect thousands of people to participate or show solidarity with workers in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, Houston, Chicago and New York, by walking out of schools and offices.

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Mr Trump campaigned on building a wall along the US-Mexico border, and has blamed high unemployment on immigration.

Since becoming president, he has called for a ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries from coming into the US.

He has also expanded the powers of immigration agents, with some analysts estimating that up to eight million illegal immigrants now face deportation.

Recent reports of an "enforcement surge" in four US states have sparked further concern among immigration advocates and families.

The strike is expected to shut down dozens of restaurants in Washington and several more in New York as part of an attempt to illustrate just how crucial America's vast immigrant population is to both its economy and infrastructure.

"From doctors to dishwashers, immigrants are integral to daily life in the US," Janet Murguia, president of National Council of Latino advocacy group La Raza, tweeted.

Spanish-born celebrity chef José Andrés is among those who have announced public support for the protest.

Mr Andrés is already embroiled in a legal battle with the President after he pulled out of a restaurant deal at his new Washington hotel over offensive comments he made about Mexican immigrants

Yet it is unclear which group initiated or is overseeing the protest, meaning the day of action may not be as cohesive as campaigners had hoped.

Maria Fernanda Cabello, from an immigrant advocacy group Cosecha, has said Thursday's efforts would help it prepare for an action it was planning on 1 May.

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