In Other News (no.5)

#DayWithoutImmigrants (or A Day Without Immigrants) was a protest and boycott that took place on February 16, 2017. The supposed point of this day was to demonstrate the importance of immigration — and to protest President Trump’s plans to build a border wall and to potentially deport millions of illegal immigrants. The strike called for immigrants not to go to work, to avoid spending money, and to keep their children home from school.

Over 50 restaurants were closed in Washington, D.C. on that day. Others were also closed, across the country, including over 1,000 businesses in Dallas, Texas. However, the L.A Unified School District urged students not to take part in the protest. In the Bay Area, Redwood City School District also asked families to ensure their kids came to school. DC Public Schools sent an email out stating that all staff and students were expected to be in school throughout the day. What was supposed to be a “Day Without Immigrants” turned into “Life Without a Job” for some. Among those — some restaurants fired their workers who did not come into work on that Thursday, 18 people in Nashville, 12 in Catoosa, around 30 in Denver, and 21 were fired from Encore Boat Builders.

I am just genuinely exhausted from seeing and hearing about all of these protests. I will argue that the Day Without Immigrants protest was one of the more lawful ones (and definitely more peaceful). That is a breath of fresh air! Still, it’s just another day for people to get out into the streets and complain. The whole day, I was wondering who actually was out there protesting — actual immigrants or a bunch of caucasian, left-wing “activists”? Hispanics are some of the most hard working people there are. They are about the love of their families and providing for them. I cannot imagine that too many would be willing to risk their jobs to march in the streets.

I also wondered what it was that people were trying to achieve — a happy medium or the freedom to basically do whatever they want? Do I think that all immigrants should be banned from entering our country? No. Do I think that we need more secure borders? Yes. Currently, the majority of immigrant households (legal and/or illegal) use some type of government assistance — whether it be food stamps, medical insurance, student loans, or welfare. Better securing our borders and a better vetting process could help to decrease that number. It would free up jobs for actual citizens — that is if citizens would actually get off their asses and go find those jobs. It would also lessen the hold-up for those who are actually going through the process of becoming a legal citizen. In my opinion, Trump’s policies are trying to achieve a happy medium — allow immigrants, but in the correct and lawful way. Our country can no longer be a free-for-all for immigrants, our citizens will suffer — why any citizen would protest that is beyond me. Morality has been issued as a reason, but clearly everyone has a different moral standard.

That being said — I think that it is time to move on, pray for and support our Nation’s leader, and find more proficient ways of trying to make change. I think that one of the best ways to do this, is to always remain open minded to the opinions of others around you. If we cannot all work together, we should at least respectively agree to disagree. Our country doesn’t have to be as divided as it is now, it shouldn’t be. I am always intrigued by the opinions of others, even if they are not similar to mine, and as long as they aren’t close-minded themselves. In an effort to better understand the world’s take on immigration, I reached out to some of our close friends and a few acquaintances. I asked each of them for a short statement that explains their stance on immigration, the recent protest, and President Trump’s stance on the matter. I wanted to share them with readers:

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I am all for people protesting and standing up for what they believe in. As for me, I am Puerto Rican. Therefore, I guess I could say I am blessed to be a part of the United States. However, what the immigrants are going through right now, I feel for them. Honestly, my word of encouragement would just be to stand up for what is right. Keep fighting the fight, because ignorance never wins. - Junior Rodriguez (male/22)

I didn’t participate in the “Day Without Immigrants” protest. It was not because it does not affect me, but because people are misinformed. I think the media should stop pushing their opinions down our throats and they should actually do their jobs, which is inform us. Being here illegally does affect U.S. citizens. Instead of dividing ourselves, we would push for laws that would make all those people legal. I agree with Trump when he says he wants all of the “bad guys” out. I have seen it first hand; people in Mexico get involved in the drug world and do disgusting things. Then when things get bad, and their family is danger, they want to flee the country. I lived in Mexico for 2 years and I have seen some people do this, try to escape claiming they are scared. They were not scared when they were getting all that money for stealing and kidnapping. They come here expecting a new beginning, but do not want to face consequences for what they have done. It is not fair for me to have them as my neighbors, when I know they do not care for other people. 
– Anonymous (female/29)

I do understand the importance of immigration and why people would want to protest racial profiling. However, not going to work and keeping your kids from going to school is not the way to go. There are ways of protesting and boycotting, but not in this way. – Cedric Mendoza (male/16)

I saw the protest “A Day Without Immigrants” take full force, as thousands of immigrants marched against the well known immigration policies of President Donald Trump. As a proud Mexican, I watched the protest evolve and become a way for immigrants to be heard and noticed. It made a statement that diversity is what makes America great. -Anonymous (male/24)

We are a very generous country, when it comes to immigration, we always have been.There are many who benefit from that, like my friends that immigrated here from Mexico, legally. But illegal immigrants should never benefit, from breaking our nation’s laws. -Jose Hernandez (male/32)

The sole purpose of “Day without Immigrants” was meant to show the impact immigrants make to this country. Now many Americans might think the protest is a bit absurd since many Americans are not against immigrants, they are against illegal immigrants. I believe that this whole protest would’ve made a bigger impact if a more immigrants across the country had taken part of the protest . Instead of just one or two major cities across the nation. Now this country pretty much has a give/take relationship with illegal immigrants in this country. Though some might not agree , having a day without immigrants is actually a loss instead of a gain. -Stephanie Bonilla (female/19)

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In other news: We had our very own protest supposedly happening, in Conway, Arkansas — over a one dollar hike, on drink prices, at the local dive bar. Bears Den Pizza has been around for about 8 years, now. It’s is without a doubt the cheapest bar in town, even without running the well-known daily specials. It is probably also the most popular bar in town, as it is adjacent to the city’s largest college. Of course it is always full of college-aged kids, freshly legal to drink. If you’re above the age of twenty-five, you probably refer to the bar as “The Dirty D” or “The Bear Trap” and occasionally tease those that still live at the bar. However, by 11:00pm on the weekends (and especially on Crawfish Sunday’s), you still see customers of all ages and the true “regulars” starting to pour in — the ones who have frequented there since it’s opening. Unlike these little kids, that feel the need to protest, we aren’t unappreciative or delusional. We are not dumb enough to think that standing on the bar’s sidewalk, holding up signs, and whining will change anything. We also just don’t care — as the majority of us have jobs, families, better things to do, and could care less about an extra dollar. Again, it is still the cheapest bar in town.

I’ve always known the owners and the staff to take care of their good customers. These teeny-boppers who consider themselves regulars (because they hang out there every single night, hardly run a tab, and don’t tip the waitresses who have to put up with their immature behavior all night) don’t fall into that category. If you want to loiter, go to the Kroger parking lot. If you feel the need to bitch, over a one dollar rise on the price of drinks, you probably shouldn’t be out spending your money on alcohol in the first place. Not to mention, if you can’t afford that extra dollar, how in the hell are you going to afford your full tab at any other bar? It’s not the bar’s fault that you don’t get enough allowance to cover the increase. Anyone who uses common sense and logical thinking, knows it was a smart business decision — and I promise, that place won’t be missing these kids who are on a Bears Den strike. If anything, it has only encouraged those who have always supported the business, to do so even more. https://www.facebook.com/bearsdenpizzaconway/

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