"A Day Without Immigrants" protest set for Thursday

Officials want parents to keep children in school

SALINAS, Calif. - UPDATED 2/16/17 6:00 PM: Many Central Coast restaurants and businesses participated in "A Day Without Immigrants" by keeping their doors shut.

In Watsonville, some skipped work and school to rally on one of the city's busiest streets.

The rally started at about noon and grew as the afternoon went on. Some were undocumented and some were not, but they were united in their message.

"We're here to make a statement, you know, they are not alone, we are so many" said supporter Xitlali Cabadas

Cabadas is just one of dozens of people who showed up Thursday to support "A Day Without Immigrants".

Some kids skipped school with parent's support, local workers took the day off.

Alexis Palomino and his sister, held signs with messages written specifically for President Donald Trump.

"We're here for the cause" said Palomino. "We don't want Donald Trump to deport my parents or all the Mexicans that are here."

Watsonville wasn't the only hot spot for the movement. Blocks of businesses in Salinas also joined in, including a strip mall on East Alisal Street with most of it's businesses closed in support of the cause.

"The main benefit that we get from us closing our businesses and not going to work is the unity within the immigrant community" said Salinas business owner Alicia Delena Moral.

Unity that Xitlali says is crucial for a cause she believes in.

"If we all take a stand together, it makes a huge statement and if all undocumented immigrants and people who support them take a stand in this nation, it makes a big difference." said Xitlali Cabadas.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Salinas City Elementary School District, or SCESD, is informing parents about the nationwide movement to go “on strike” from work, school and other engagements on Thursday.

The strike is in opposition to recent moves regarding immigration by the Donald Trump administration.

Superintendent Martha Martinez said the district recognizes and respects the value of immigrants, adding that a recent resolution was passed declaring SCESD a “safe haven” for immigrants.

But administration officials encouraged parents to keep their children in school, saying that all absences related the event will be treated as unexcused.

Officials asked parents to consider other alternatives to the protest, such as having children wear yellow to demonstrate support of the national protest.

 “The Alisal School District is fully supportive of immigrant rights, especially since so many of our families and staff (including me) are, indeed, immigrants who contribute so much to this country. However, we believe that it is in the best interest of our students, families and community to continue to ensure that our students attend school,” said superintendent Dr. Héctor Rico.

Rico said sending children to school wearing yellow will show that students and families are supportive of immigrants’ rights.

An immigration forum is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 23 at Jesse G. Sánchez School.

The forum will be held in Spanish with English translation available.


Attending the forum will be police Chief Adele Fresé, councilmembers and other city leaders. 

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