Rallies held to support immigration in Wichita

There were huge turnouts across the country

WICHITA, Kan. -
Immigrants around the country have been staying home from work and school today, hoping to demonstrate their importance to America's economy and its way of life. And many businesses closed in solidarity -- or because of a shortage of workers.

The boycott -- called A Day Without Immigrants -- was aimed squarely at President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on immigration.

Fine restaurants in the nation's capital and in New York closed for the day, as did grocery stores, food trucks and taco joints in Chicago, Boston and elsewhere. And even a coffee shop in the U.S. Senate was closed as employees didn't show up for work.

Organizers appealed to immigrants from all walks of life to take part, but the effects were felt most strongly in the restaurant industry. It's long been a first step up the economic ladder for newcomers to America with its many jobs for cooks, dishwashers and servers.

The day's activities included rallies in several cities. A Bolivian woman who now lives in northern Virginia, Marcela Ardaya-Vargas, pulled her son out of school to take him to a march in Washington. She says she told him that ``today he was going to learn about immigration.''

 
Thousands of students were absent from schools in Kansas on Thursday.  Dozens of people attended a rally at the Nomar plaza at 21st and Broadway in Wichita.
 
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Some Wichita businesses were planning to close their doors Thursday in solidarity with people from other countries living in the U.S. 
 
Our E.W. Scripps sister station KYQQ, 106.5 Radio Lobo in Wichita, reports some workers are planning to stay home, and some parents do not plan to send their kids to school Thursday.
 
It's part of a nationwide movement called "A Day Without Immigrants," which has been spread through social media and word of mouth.
 
The organizers told Radio Lobo it's not necessarily a "protest," but a gathering of immigrants and supporters who want to draw attention to the impact immigrants have on U.S. society. Similar gatherings are planned in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, Houston, Chicago and New York.
 
Radio Lobo reports dozens of people attended the "A Day Without Immigrants" gathering in Wichita was held at the Nomar plaza at 21st and Broadway Thursday morning. 
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