“Day Without Immigrants”: affecting Kamiakin and stunning the nation

The national "Day Without Immigrants" protest sparks controversy across America, but also sees significance at school.

Courtesy of BBC News

Madison Morgan and Taylor Hunzeker, Editors-in-Chief

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She walked into her first period. As soon as the bell rang, she pulled out her attendance sheet and began calling roll. History teacher Sabiha Khan’s brows furrowed in confusion when she noticed that several students were absent. Khan would later find out that those students were gone because of their participation in Feb. 16’s “Day Without Immigrants” protest.

“Some of the students who skipped that day never skip. They never skip, so that’s what prompted me to ask the other students, ‘Do you know why so and so is not here? That’s unusual, you know,'” said Khan.

Photo courtesy of wunc.org
A Washington D.C. restaurant closed in support of a “Day Without Immigrants.”

The protest, felt biggest in Washington D.C., was in response to President Trump’s newest immigration policies. Those protesting included immigrants, family of immigrants, and those in opposition of the president’s policies.

“This one [student] I know is not an immigrant. [They] were born here, but they were probably standing in solidarity with their family members and others friends who go here who feel that they’re not welcome or they’re not appreciated enough,” Khan said.

Photo courtesy of beta.theweek.in
Protestors from the “Day Without Immigrants” Feb. 16. The protest saw countless establishments close their doors in support of immigrants nationwide.

The movement’s goal was to show the president that while immigrants may not be native-born, they contribute an overwhelming amount to the American society.

Photo Courtesy of peoriapublicradio.org
A protestor’s sign from the “Day Without Immigrants” event.

“The significance is pretty obvious. Immigrants have contributed a lot. In fact, this country’s made up of immigrants, and a lot of the contributions, and I think one of the reasons that made America so great is the contribution of different waves of immigrants from different parts of the world who brought all their talent to the United States. But what also surprises me is that you would think everybody knows that fact and knows the significance of immigrants, but sometimes you’re surprised to see not everybody acknowledges that,” said Khan.

Photo courtesy of ijr.com
Protestors for “Day Without Immigrants” marching in a U.S. city.

America is the world’s melting pot. It’s a country of immigrants. The students and families who participated in a “Day Without Immigrants” in the Tri-Cities, though lesser in numbers than other parts of the country, still had an impact. While they held no marches and demonstrations, simply by refusing to come to school and work did they make their point clear: they are important. No matter where their origin is, immigrants protested to let it be known that they matter to America.

 

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