Thursday, February 16, 2017

#adaywithoutimmigrants in Memphis; Not Quantifiable, But Noticeable

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 5:33 PM

Businesses and organizations across the United States locked their doors as part of the #daywithoutimmigrants protest, a wide-spread clap-back to the consistent, yet, statistically unfounded insistence of President Donald Trump's campaign and administration's talking points that blame economic woes on undocumented immigrants residing in the United States.

In Memphis, the effects of the protest were visible on Summer Avenue. Multiple establishments including La Michoacana and La Guadalapana were closed outside of posted hours. Though there was no clear explanation on any of the Summer Avenue businesses, the implication was clear to many Memphians across social media.
click to enlarge Posted on El Mercadito de Memphis' Facebook page. "Today we will be closed and united!"
  • Posted on El Mercadito de Memphis' Facebook page. "Today we will be closed and united!"

Latino Memphis, a social services organization dedicated to connecting both documented and undocumented Spanish-speaking immigrants to resources imperative to livelihood in the Mid-South, said they kept their doors open today, but only for the sake of those they serve.

"At this time, we need to be pulling together, not only from a humane perspective, but from a economic perspective," said Mauricio Calvo, the executive director of Latino Memphis.

Calvo notes that there are more than 100,000 Spanish-speaking individuals in Memphis. In Calvo's view, today's protest was "not meant to harm anyone", but noted that actions of civil defiance do add up, even if incrementally.

There were additional reports of large numbers of students absent from schools with significant Latino populations, but those have yet to be confirmed by Shelby County Schools.

It's unclear to what extent today's #adaywithoutimmigrants protests impacted Memphis outside of Summer Avenue, but as many immigrants are undocumented — many employers who profit from undocumented workers would be unable to offer any quantification.

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