Valentine’s Day was closed for business for immigrants and their supporters.
Taking part in a nationwide rally on a significant commercial holiday, immigrants and advocates strove to showcase the importance non-native Americans have on the economy through a day of action dubbed ‘A Day Without Immigrants.’
Those hailing from out of the country and their supporters refused to patronize any business over the course of Feb. 14 in order to demonstrate the impact immigrants have on society. The day culminated in a rally at Times Square that also pushed for immigration reform, something organizer New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) is seeking both the president and congress to come to terms on.
“We deserve the dignity of a pathway to citizenship so we can have the same rights, the same rights as our neighbors, the same rights as the people sitting next to us at a restaurant. We deserve those rights, we have worked for those rights, and we will not stop until we get those rights,” Diana Moreno said.
In an attempt to hit America where it hurts, in the wallet, the group says immigrants have the power to cripple the economy and declare they plan on doing just that if they are not treated as equals.
With New York historically being a city of immigrants, many of those participating in ‘A Day Without Immigrants’ say they plan on heading to Washington DC at the end of February directly prior to the president’s State of the Union Address where they will continue their fight.