Millions push for immigration reform
"No work, no school, no spending."
That was the rallying cry for the "A Day Without Immigrants" rallies that took place across the country on Monday, in which immigrants took to the streets in major cities in a show of solidarity and strength as part of their effort to push Congress to act on stalled immigration reform. Millions of immigrants cut short their workday or stayed home in hopes of demonstrating their collective impact on the U.S. economy. The boycott was meant to show the purchasing power of the nation's immigrants, while the work stoppage forced a number of factories and businesses across the country to shut down for the day.
Before the day's events started, a number of major U.S. companies that depend on immigrant labor announced that they would be closed for the day, according to the Los Angeles Times. Among them: Tyson Foods, the world's largest meat producer, which closed nine U.S. beef plants and four pork plants; Cargill, the second-largest meatpacker, which closed some plants; and Perdue Farms, which closed six of its 14 plants.
Though the message was somewhat unified, the demonstrations peaceful and the look familiar (white T-shirts symbolizing peace), organizers were split on the idea of a boycott as the best way to stage Monday's protest. Supporters hoped it would send a clear message about the country's dependence on immigrant workers at a time when congressional leaders are considering whether to allow millions of illegal immigrants to gain legal status, while opponents feared the walkout might be a setback to the protesters' goals.
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Tags: Illegal Immigrants, Guest Workers, Birthright Citizenship, Politics, El Boicot, Current Affairs, Media by Sistrunk