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Report: A Day Without Immigrants

Not far from us in Staten Island, the Philadelphia's Italian Market was hushed on a recent weekday. The same unusual quiet settled over restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, food trucks and diners in cities stretching across the nation.

The uncommon quiet was the result of immigrants who stayed home from jobs in a protest called A Day Without Immigrants. The goal was to demonstrate the importance of immigrants to American lives and the economy.

The message is a reply to President Trump's recent deportation orders, calls to build a wall at the border with Mexico and his attempt to curtail travel. The protest even reached into the U.S. Capitol, where a Senate coffee shop was shuttered because workers stayed away for a day.

According to an Associated Press article, even bigger plans are being made for demonstrations on May 1. Known as May Day, it's an internationally recognized celebration of workers.

The AP reports that this week's protest was felt most keenly in the food industry, which saw both fine dining restaurants and fast-food drive-ins (and many eateries in between the two extremes) closed for one of two reasons: they could not operate without immigrant workers or the owners were in sympathy with protesters.

"The really important dynamic to note is this is not antagonistic, employee-against-employer," said the president of the National Council of La Raza. "This is employers and workers standing together, not in conflict."

Citing Labor Department reports, the AP said foreign-born workers in the U.S. now total nearly 26 million.

A Staten Island immigration attorney can help both employees and employers with the complexities of employment-based immigration processes and paperwork.

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