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Workers take protest to White House on “Day Without Immigrants”

A man holds a sign that reads ‘Immigrants Work for America’s Prosperity’, during a march and rally to show support for ‘A Day Without Immigrants’, outside the Wilson Building in Washington, DC, USA, 16 February 2017. A Day Without Immigrants is a national one-day event in which businesses strike to show opposition to US President Donald J. Trump’s immigration policies and to show solidarity to immigrant workers. EFE

Washington DC, Feb 16 (EFE).- Nearly 200 people demonstrated in front of the White House on Thursday as part of the “Day without Immigrants” movement against the immigration policies of the president of the United States.

In an effort to show Donald Trump that the work of immigrants is necessary for the “prosperity” of the country, Mexicans, Salvadorans, Hondurans and Colombians, among others, took off their work uniforms and took on the role of activists.

Many immigrants left their jobs and refused to buy anything or take public transport in the US capital and in other major cities across the country to dissociate themselves from the US economy and demonstrate their importance.

Dominican national Maria Sorial chose not to show up to work in solidarity with the movement, as did her colleagues, who are mostly Latinas.

A man holds a sign depicting US President Donald J. Trump wearing a swastika armband during a march and rally outside the Wilson Building, to show support for ‘A Day Without Immigrants’, in Washington, DC, USA, 16 February 2017. A Day Without Immigrants is a national one-day event in which businesses strike to show opposition to US President Donald J. Trump’s immigration policies and to show solidarity to immigrant workers. EFE

“We (the Latinos) do the work that Americans don’t want to do. We clean the offices, the hotels and the houses, we take care of their children, we work in the construction sites and we feed them food. Let’s hope that today will help the president realize how important we are to the country’s economy,” Sorial told EFE.

In the US capital, demonstrators culminated their protest in front of the White House after marching for more than 4.5 kilometers from Mount Pleasant, the city’s most important Hispanic neighborhood.

Children who had taken the day off school, small business owners and catering workers were among those carrying protest placards and the flags of their home countries on the march to the White House.

“It’s hard work, and we do it for minimum pay, so I don’t think Americans want to do it,” Norma Escobar, an undocumented Guatemalan woman who lost her job “without any explanation” at a restaurant on Monday, told EFE.

“I especially ask the president not to deport us, because we are afraid to go back to our countries. There is a lot of violence there. They have killed my brother,” she said through tears.

Norma Salvador, a Salvadoran woman who has been working in cleaning and hospitality since arriving in Washington more than a decade ago and whose two siblings have been deported, said she had faith that the power of protest would help to bring recognition for the work of immigrants.

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