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The "day without immigrants" protest draws hundreds to march in Detroit

Feb 16, 2017

Immigrants and others in southwest Detroit are taking a stand against deportations.

Some schools and businesses across metro Detroit closed, while hundreds of people went on strike for the day to protest President Trump's pledge to deport more undocumented immigrants.

It's a part of a nationwide protest called "A Day Without Immigrants." Some businesses in Grand Rapids also closed as part of the action. 

Adonis Flores is a community organizer who works with Michigan United, and although he didn’t organize the protest, he helped train most of the volunteers working at the march.

Flores said the strike and demonstration in Detroit will help make sure immigrants don't go unnoticed.

“We want to demonstrate how important to the fabric of American society immigrants are,” Flores said.

“We love America, we contribute to this country, we work hard, we pay our taxes, but people never notice that,” Flores added. “They only believe the lies they hear on the news that Trump is spreading about immigrants.”

Riquelmi Moreno, a restaurant owner in southwest Detroit, thinks the country should only deport people who aren't having a positive impact on their community.

“Please do a little better background check, see what that person's life is all about. We are not just numbers, we are people,” Moreno said.

Carmen Regalado, another community activist in southwest Detroit, said she supports the march because she supports immigrants' rights.

“I think we should be supportive of all folks that are with [immigration] papers or without papers,” Regalado said.

Regalado believes immigration raids have occurred more frequently since Trump signed the executive order.

Despite being called a "sanctuary city" by some, Detroit's Chief of Police James Craig said he and the city’s police department will continue to work with federal efforts to deport those living here illegally.