Day Without Immigrants
WHILE THE TRAVEL BAN HAS MADE THINGS DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE COMING TO THE U.S. FROM CERTAIN COUNTRIES, MANY OF THE IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE ALREADY MADE IT HERE WERE EAGER TO PROVE THEIR WORTH LAST WEEK.
AN IMMIGRANT IS A PERSON WHO COMES TO LIVE PERMANENTLY IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY – AND THE U.S. ACCEPTS ABOUT 1 MILLION IMMIGRANTS INTO OUR COUNTRY EACH YEAR, BUT MANY MORE – AT LEAST 700 THOUSAND – COME HERE ILLEGALLY.
THESE IMMIGRANTS ARE OFTEN SEEN AS A BURDEN. BUT, LAST WEEK, IN CITIES AROUND AMERICA, THOUSANDS OF CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES, RESTAURANTS AND OTHER BUSINESSES SHUT THEIR DOORS FOR "A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS," A STRIKE THAT AIMED TO HIGHLIGHT THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF IMMIGRANTS TO U.S. BUSINESS AND CULTURE. A STRIKE IS A REFUSAL TO WORK AS A FORM OF PROTEST. IN THIS CASE, THOUSANDS OF IMMIGRANTS, MANY IN THE HISPANIC COMMUNITY, PARTICIPATED IN THE STRIKE.
UP NEXT, WE HEAD TO NEVADA, TO SEE FIRST-HAND WHAT A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS LOOKS LIKE.
AT DONA MARIA'S....THIS SHOULD BE THE LUNCH RUSH....
Neriza Johnson/Restaurant Owner: "we would have about 12 to 15 people working in the back of the house right now cooking, prepping."
THAT'S CO-OWNER NERIZA JOHNSON, STANDING WITH ME IN AN EMPTY KITCHEN. ....IN AN EMPTY RESTAURANT. ON THE DOOR, THE REASON WHY. DONA MARIA'S IS ONE OF A HOST OF LOCAL BUSINESSES CLOSING ON THIS THURSDAY TO HONOR "A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS." IMMIGRANT ALFREDO MARTINEZ BEGAN THIS BUSINESS 37 YEAR AGO. FOR HIM, THIS IS PAYBACK.
Alfredo Martinez/Restaurant Owner: "and thanks to our people they like our food and we trying to help as much as we can. in ourcommunity they always giving the support to us."
FROM THIS RESTAURANT.... TO THIS CAR DEALER. TO THIS GROCERY STORE..... SILENCE TODAY WAS MAKING A STATEMENT. MARIANA'S ALSO CLOSED TODAY. THIS GROCERY STORE'S CUSTOMER BASE IS 85 PERCENT HISPANIC. CLOSING FOUR LOCATIONS....IS COSTING THIS FAMILY-RUN BUSINESS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.
Ruben Anaya/Grocery Store Owner: "and we felt since the hispanic community has been there for us over 27 years that we have been open here in las vegas that it was important to them that we stand with them in the cause."
CUSTOMERS, WHO MET LOCKED DOORS, CAME FACE TO FACE WITH THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE.
Paula Medina/Customer: "the value of immigrants is they all work. they all do the same as americans, and they have their rights as well."
ON THE OTHER HAND, THIS MAN CAME HERE 42 YEARS AGO ON A GREEN CARD.
Sirali Peiris/Customer: " I love this country, but i don't want some unwanted people entering this country and ruining this country. they ruined this country, mostly. that's my feeling - as an immigrant."
THE DEBATE CONTINUES...ON A DAY SOME BUSINESSES TOOK A STAND.
WHILE MANY OF THE PARTICIPANTS IN A DAY WITHOUT IMMIGRANTS WERE OF HISPANIC DECENT, OUR COUNTRY ACCEPTS IMMIGRANTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD – AND THE U.S. HAS BEEN A SAFE HAVEN FOR THEM SINCE ITS CREATION.
IN FACT, CHANCES ARE, YOU ARE THE ANCESTOR OF IMMIGRANTS! IN OUR POLL THIS WEEK, WE WANT TO LEARN A LITTLE ABOUT YOU. TELL US: WHO WAS THE LAST IMMIGRANT IN YOUR FAMILY? YOUR OPTIONS ARE: I AM AN IMMIGRANT. MY PARENTS. MY GRANDPARENTS. MY GREAT-GRANDPARENTS OR AN OLDER GENERATION.
AND WHEN YOU WRITE IN TO US THIS WEEK, PICK A FAMILY MEMBER THAT IMMIGRATED HERE, AND TELL US: WHERE DID THEY COME FROM, AND WHEN DID THEY MOVE HERE? YOU MIGHT HAVE TO DO A LITTLE RESEARCH BY TALKING TO YOUR FAMILY.
WHILE WE’RE HERE, LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT YOU HAD TO SAY LAST WEEK. WE ASKED: HAVE YOU HAD THE FLU THIS YEAR? AND, THANKFULLY, MOST OF YOU, 73% SAID NO! SOUNDS LIKE WE’VE GOT A HEALTHY GROUP OF VIEWERS!
Video: PBS LearningMedia, Homeland, Immigration in America, Immigration Then and Now | See companion website for more resource, http://explorehomeland.org/stories/
Classroom Resources: Library of Congress, Themed Resources, Immigration | Includes lesson plans, primary source sets for history and contributions of immigrants
Interactive Map: MigrationsMap.net, USA | Uses Global Migrant Origin Database. Click on countries to see migrant arrivals & departures.
Bibliography: TeachersFirst, CurriConnects Book List - Immigrants and Immigration | Book list of suggested fiction titles to study immigration time periods in the U.S.