Day Without Immigrants strike closes Minneapolis businesses

- A strike called "Day Without Immigrants" is planned for Thursday as businesses owners want to send a message to President Donald Trump.

The movement has built momentum on social media over the past few days and continues to grow.

Originally from Kuwait, Sameh Wadi owns World Street Kitchen and the Milk Jam Creamery in Minneapolis, which employ more than 50 people.

Thursday, they will all get paid without having to come to work.

Wadi is closing his doors and joining the Day Without Immigrants protest.

It's a response to President Trump’s pledges to crack down on those entering the country, extreme vetting and building a wall.

Across the country, the boycott calls on immigrants not to attend work, open their businesses, spend money or even send their children to school.

“The rhetoric has been really hurting me personally,” said Wadi. “I've been in this country for 25 years. I've never felt I am not welcome until this year, although I am a U.S. citizen.”

On East Lake Street at least 14 businesses are planning to remain closed.

Some owners say since Trump took office sales have already dropped.

“Some of them tell us they don't want to go out and spend money because they are afraid of spending money and getting deported and most don't have homes in Mexico,” said David Morales of La Poblanita.

For many of these small, family-owned establishments shutting down for a day is big commitment.

“We are producers, we are consumers, we make a difference in the economy,” said Vanessa Geniz of San Miguel Panderia. “We make a difference in the workforce as well.”

“I think a place like this is one of those places where you are going to have people that are more supportive,” said Jill Drum Steffens, a customer.

Wadi is thankful to his customers who understand and hopes, through this strike, critics get the message.

“Our difference is our strength that's how we became the United States of America,” said Wadi.
 


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