Thursday might be the biggest “sick day” in San Antonio with hundreds, maybe thousands of immigrants pledging to stay home and not spend any money.
Writing on a store-front in Spanish makes the announcement:
“A day without immigrants, 16 of February, we will be closed.”
About 200 housekeepers and nannies who belong to the group Domesticas Unidas have been asked not to go to work Thursday as part of “A day without an immigrant.”
“They were excited and they were very appreciative of coming together and doing something,” said Irasema Cavazos of Domesticas Unidas.
Those domestic workers are employed in private homes in San Antonio and have also been told it's voluntary.
“They're making a sacrifice,” Cavazos said. “They're sacrificing a day of labor, which can mean food on the table. Also, they're risking their jobs. Some employers may not be understanding.”
The boycott goes beyond going to work. It also calls for immigrant parents not to send their kids to school and not spend any money. That's means no gassing up, shopping, or eating out.
Bella's Mexican restaurant, run by two Mexican immigrant women, is shutting down its kitchen on the east side.
“It's going to be a loss, but we don't care,” co-owner Irma Acuna said. “Maybe we're going to win more by doing this.”
For Acuna, the project is personal. She says many immigrants, even those who are here legally, can’t vote because they’re not citizens. The boycott is one way they can participate in the democratic process and send a message to President Donald Trump.
“It is believed, according to “Mr. 45,” that the [immigrant] community is a burden, that we do not contribute to this country,” Cavazos said. “By doing a stoppage, saying ‘We're not going to participate in the economy for one day,’ we can prove, that yes, we have value.”