Businesses across the Austin area had these signs up, saying they were closed to observe "A Day Without Immigrants." Advocates say it's a day to recognize the contributions immigrants make to every day American life.
“Immigrants are a big part of the united states. We don't come here to disrespect anybody. We're here like everybody else, trying to support your family,” said Jessica Arellano, demonstrator.
Arellano was one of the demonstrators on Riverside Drive.
“Without immigrants, there's a huge part of the United States missing, basically,” said Arellano.
It wasn't hard to find more signs across the city saying they're closed. Mcdonald's even closed on Riverside. The Al Pastor restaurant said plainly they were founded by an undocumented immigrant. It wasn't just restaurants that were closed down.
“There's a housekeeping company, some of our members, actually own their own landscaping companies and they decided not to go to work,” said Alejandro Caceres with “Ice Out of Austin.”
Caceres participated in the rallies Thursday. The Day Without Immigrants rally started downtown early Thursday. Later on there was the Riverside protest, and then the protest against ICE , at city hall.
“It's showing folks immigrants can come together and unite,” said Caceres.
He says this is a big statement for the immigrant community, and he hopes it can relay to Washington.
“Money-wise, immigrants can show they provide a lot for this economy. Culturally people can provide and show that we built the fabric of this place,” said Caceres.
President Trump has emphasized a goal deport undocumented immigrants. Some protesters we met today say citizenship status shouldn't matter, but contribution to society should.