“Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”
On February 16, 2017, thousands of immigrants participated in a national work stoppage called “A Day Without Immigrants” to demonstrate how important immigrants are to the U.S. economy and to protest the president’s proposed “Wall” and deportations. The restaurant and fast food industry was particularly affected by the ‘strike’.
Three days earlier, thousands of immigrants took to the streets of Milwaukee, WI, in what was dubbed “A Day Without Latinos.” They were protesting Sheriff David Clarke’s efforts to turn the county police into ICE agents. The Wisconsin dairy industry has come to depend upon the contribution of Latinx immigrants from dairy farms to cheese factories.
While some employers supported the national and local actions, others took action of their own, firing employees that did not come to work that day.
Questions for Reflection
What effect do you think “A Day Without Immigrants” and “A Day Without Latinos” have on those who make decisions about immigration policy and/or enforcement?
What impact, if any, did it have on you?
Do you think work stoppage actions make the general public more or less empathic to the conditions and needs of immigrants? Why?