Locals observe "A Day Without Immigrants"

"We are a part of the economy," one immigrant said. "We're part of the system. We're part of the machine, the economy machine of the United States."

A national protest took place all day Thursday.

"A Day Without Immigrants" started on social media in response to the trump administration's policies toward immigrants.

Stores locked up, children stayed home from school and people stayed inside their homes to show the importance of immigrants in the United States.

Ten-year-old Marina Gonzalez, her mom, and so many others participated in the protest.

"We can't go to work," Gonzalez said. "We can't go to school or we can't buy nothing."

Gonzalez's mom is an immigrant from Mexico.

She closed up her decorations shop in South Omaha on Thursday.

"It doesn't matter if we don't earn that money that we could get today," she said.

Cecilia Macias says what matters is getting more respect as immigrants from President Trump.

She said, "He has to notice that we could do something in the United States - that we are somebody."

Macias and Gonzalez may not have gone to work or school, but they were still in the neighborhood.

They spent the day walking along 24th Street to see just how many businesses were closed.

One of them is The Computer Doctor, which is owned by Emmanuel Hidalgo.

He said, "There's a lot of people being deported to our original countries and a lot of people don't care."

By closing his store on Thursday, Hidalgo says he hopes people will care.

"We are a part of the economy," he said. "We're part of the system. We're part of the machine, the economy machine of the United States."

As he says, think about what the U.S. would be like without immigrants like him.

He said, "The country would look like a ghost town."

A couple businesses were still open Thursday in South Omaha.

Employees of Nebraska's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce say it was up to business owners if they wanted to close today.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off