Thursday, February 16, 2017

New Orleans businesses close in solidarity with Day Without Immigrants

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 12:45 PM

click to enlarge Ideal Market. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Ideal Market.

New Orleans businesses and residents joined a national Day Without Immigrants demonstration against anti-immigration efforts from President Donald Trump, who has battled courts over his ban on refugee entry and on immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries while expanding policing operations that target immigrant communities and proposing a "wall" sealing the U.S.-Mexico border, estimated to cost nearly $22 billion.

As WWL-TV reports, Ideal Market has closed its nine locations in the New Orleans area and Baton Rouge "in an effort to show the contribution that immigrant workers give to 'Make America Great!'," a message in solidarity with "el dia sin latinos, immigrantes y refugiados" ("a day without Latinos, immigrants and refugees"). In a message on social media, the market announced the closures are "in support of the day without immigrants: as always committed to serve and support the Latino community and public in general." Ideal will pay its employees during its closure.

Casa Borrega on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard also is closed today "in solidarity with all immigrants and refugees on this Day Without Latinos."

As part of his immigration platform, Trump plans to effectively deputize local police to work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which last week arrested nearly 700 people in raids across the U.S. While raids and sweeps are nothing new to immigrant communities, which labeled Barack Obama "deporter in chief" following the 2.5 million deportations under his administration, Trump's policies are part of a domestic policy platform focused explicitly on immigration enforcement

Trump also plans to publish weekly lists of crimes allegedly committed by people living in the country illegally, part of a policy threatening to pull federal funding from so-called "sanctuary cities" that don't cooperate with ICE, as determined by the U.S. Attorney General.

A Day Without Immigrants is among the first large-scale strikes in the wake of Trump's inauguration. Nationwide protests and rallies against Trump and his cabinet invited thousands of people to the streets, efforts inevitably leading to strikes and boycotts, including a taxi driver work stoppage at JFK International airport, thousands of delis and bodegas closing in New York City, and a general strike planned for Feb. 17.

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