About 100 people rallied Thursday evening as part of the national “Day Without Immigrants” boycott, gathering in Memorial Park to show the impact of the absence of their contribution to America’s economy and workforce.
“Throughout this Nation, we are asking all of our immigrants not to work and not to purchase anything so that people can truly see the value and the work that we do as immigrants here in this Nation,” said Jorge Chacón. “It’s a way of saying economically we are excellent consumers and also we are excellent workers. If immigrants are deported, for sure, it will be felt by everybody–there will be no exceptions.”
Many schools throughout the Valley also noticed a spike in absences
Teresa Bendito, a student in the Wenatchee Valley, participated in the boycott and rally to support her parents and to stand up for other immigrants. Bendiot said she was using her right as a citizen to speak freely and rally.
“For me, being a U.S. citizen, it is very important to stand up for those who are too afraid to be here,” she said. “We may not be too many here, but we know we are representing a lot more people who are afraid of coming out, and that’s why we’re here.”
Benito said it is important to appreciate those immigrants who work in the Valley’s fruit industry.
“Without that labor, Wenatchee would not be what it is today and we would not be able to celebrate our Apple Blossom Festival without them,” Bendito said.
The boycott came in response to the Trump Administration’s intent to crackdown on undocumented immigrants and the now-blocked executive order that banned citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries.