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Imagine a Day Without Immigrants – Reflections on a vulnerable class

Protestors+supporting+Day+of+Immigrants+%28Jose+Luis+Magana+Mercurynews.com%29
Protestors supporting Day of Immigrants (Jose Luis Magana Mercurynews.com)

Protestors supporting Day of Immigrants (Jose Luis Magana Mercurynews.com)

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Protestors supporting Day of Immigrants (Jose Luis Magana Mercurynews.com)

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Imagine a day where people who originally came from Latin America in the recent past. Imagine a day where the children of immigrants were just suddenly gone. Imagine a day where you don’t see your friendly neighbor who came here from Havana or your school bus driver who came from Mexico City or your best friend whose family came from El Salvador.

It’s not that hard to imagine when there’s a whole day dedicated to imagine a day without people who are or whose family are immigrants, both legal and illegal. February 16 this year was the day for America to see what it’s like to not see or hear from people who are immigrants or part of an immigrant family from Latin America.

I asked someone what he thought about “A Day Without Immigrants” the day after the special event, and what he said was very different to what the whole day is supposed to implement. He said “I didn’t notice”. Even though he didn’t notice I noticed. Most of my friends were gone that day, and I was here at school.

And even though he didn’t, entire businesses noticed. Many businesses all over America went a day without productivity. The causes being that most of their workers were gone. After most businesses all over America abruptly stopped functioning for a day, some of these businesses retaliated.

Most businesses whose workers supported the protests offered support for their employees. Some didn’t. There have been reports of businesses firing employees that participated in protests that occurred on the day. Some of these employees include bricklayers of Commerce City in Colorado, boat manufacturer employees in Lexington, South Carolina, and employees of a painting company in Nashville, Tennessee.

Now I can see why they got fired. They skipped out on work for personal reasons that didn’t include getting sick or having to attend a funeral or anything like those listed. But isn’t it going a little overboard to completely fire them? The employers have a right to fire their employees for missing work, but the employees also have a right to protest for what they think is right.

Of course, the employees wouldn’t win a case if they were to sue these businesses. It’s not a hate crime to fire their workers. The employees purposely missed work when they were scheduled to work, and the employees had no legitimate reason to miss work. But the businesses should at least show some empathy for these workers. No one was in the right.A major reason the protestors participated in the day was to protest President Trump’s policies and reformation ideas that have to do with immigration.

President Trump’s “Immigration Reform that will Make America Great Again” states that “individuals who refuse to leave at the time their visa expires should be subject to criminal penalties; this will also help give local jurisdictions the power to hold visa overstays until federal authorities arrive” and “All criminal aliens must be returned to their home countries” which I agree makes sense.

But in Trump’s report, he also states that the “incarcerated alien population” is cause to many “violent beatings, rapes and murders.” The data he presented in his reform (Government Accountability Office) states that the percentage of the types of crime committed by incarcerated aliens are more often being about “immigration” at “18%” while having “homicide” at “1%” and “sex offenses” being at “2%”. So most illegal immigrants are incarcerated because of, guess what, illegal immigration

According to data from the same year, conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the estimated number of violent crimes (homicide, burglary, rape and, assault) committed throughout the nation is “1,203,564.” According to the data by the GOA, the total number of the same type of crimes committed by immigrants, both legal and illegal, is at 350,649. So the crimes Trump states to mostly be caused by illegal aliens are actually committed by American citizens.

Really, the only illegal immigrants who are somewhat safe are “dreamers” or children of immigrants that were brought to America without their consent or are US born children whose parents may or may not be illegal immigrants. But what is the point of staying if their parents are being forced to leave their homes. I see that as cruel. The enforcement taking away parents of “dreamers” couldn’t possibly understand the situation these children are in.

But even “dreamers” are not fully safe. In Trump’s Immigration Reform, he states that he wants to “end birthright citizenship.” He believes “ remains the biggest magnet for illegal immigration.” I am not in support of that at all. These children were born here and deserve to stay here. And I also find it ironic how he states that he wants protect the laws of the constitution, but also wants to remove the 14th amendment

So how do these new immigration laws relate to “A Day Without Immigrants”. The protesters are trying to express that immigrants are important to the American economy. It is obvious that American businesses encountered a blow to their activity the day of the event.

Not only is it because of immigrants, both legal and illegal, occupying a large portion of the workforce, immigrants support the American economy in other ways. According to research done by George Mason University, foreign-born households “contributed approximately $106 billion to state and federal income tax” in 2012.

Of course that’s not a big factor though, considering that social assistance to support immigrants was also high. But immigrants also provide another important factor of the American economy.

“Dreamers”, or children of immigrant families, make up a large portion of entrepreneurs and successful employees. That means that, though the immigrant parents may not be very successful or provide a lot with their jobs, the immigrant parent’s kids extremely aid the economy. This, I’m guessing, gives them their nickname “dreamers”.

A problem with the concept and message of A Day Without Immigrants is the focus on Latin American Immigrants. I want to point out that immigrants in America aren’t only from Latin America. America has had Immigrants come from all over the world since the 1800’s – from China to Africa and from Ireland to the Asian Pacific countries. The day leaves out immigrants that aren’t from Latin America, which decays its sole purpose and leaves out other deserving immigrants.

Not only do immigrants play an important role in the American economy, they play a big role for American citizens.

According to data conducted by the US census of 2014, immigrants make up about 13.3 percent of the U.S population, about 42.4 million immigrants. Most immigrants reside in Los Angeles county California, and guess what, San Bernardino county is right next to Los Angeles county.

People in Southern California are affected by immigrants on a daily basis. You might not even know that someone you see or even talk to is an immigrant or a first generation American from an immigrant family.

According to the U.S Census Bureau data of 2015, there are about 440,000 immigrants who live in San Bernardino county, 500,000 immigrants who live in Riverside county, and almost 3,500,000 immigrants who live in Los Angeles county.

Any person residing in Southern California cannot say without a doubt that their lives aren’t affected by immigrants or any close relative of an immigrant. Whether you know or not, you are affected by immigrants in some way, any way.

I didn’t participate in A Day Without Immigrants because I didn’t really know much about it and I had school. Could I have participated in it? Yes, I could’ve participated in it actually. I not only support the cause, but I am personally affected by it in a big way.

A Day Without Immigrants is a day for a chance for America to see what it’s like without Latin American immigrants. It’s important to immigrants because it’s a chance for immigrants to show America exactly how important U.S immigration is and how much immigrants want to be recognized and appreciated.

Immigrants should be recognized and appreciated for their work and involvement in America. In my opinion, it’s an important day to show America what it’s like with closed borders and a really expensive wall. But it doesn’t excuse immigrants for missing out on work without a legitimate reason, so the fact that some participants were fired doesn’t bother me so much.

What bothers me is that America thinks it could run without the help of immigrants. It bothers me how many people can think immigrants are unimportant and choose to shut immigrants out. It bothers me how people all over the country see immigrants as a nuisance and not a benefit. Immigrants, both legal and illegal, help support the American economy and society in a positive way. It doesn’t matter if Trump’s immigration policies only pertain to illegals if the effects are going to be seen by legal immigrants and American citizens.

I fully support A Day Without Immigrants, no matter how unconventional its actions may seem. I hope that A Day Without Immigrants helps American citizens realize how important immigrants are and how much they are affected by immigrants.

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Imagine a Day Without Immigrants – Reflections on a vulnerable class