Central Texas businesses participate in 'Day without Immigrants' protest

Posted at 6:37 PM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:41-04

Several businesses in Central Texas closed on Thursday to participate in “A Day Without Immigrants” protest.

Lara’s Auto Service, Veronica’s Restaurant, Midway Custom Detailing, Lolita’s and La Michoacana Meat Market were some of the businesses in Waco that didn’t open its doors.

Lara’s Auto Service owner Francisco Manuel Lara said the closing was a way to support undocumented immigrants and highlight the value of all immigrants.

"It's a way to show what the Hispanic community contributes to this country and the big help we give to this country. We are not only helping the economy but also the job market,” Lara said.

Lara’s wife Aleida who also works at the auto repair shop said sustaining a financial impact was worth it.

"We'll lose some money but supporting the immigrants and our people is the best thing we can do,” Aleida Lara said.

The Lara’s also kept the family from boycotting businesses, not filling up cars with gas and keeping their children home from school, which was part of the strike.

Marivious Allen with Baylor College Republicans agrees immigrants are very valuable but it’s important they have a legal status.

"I will say I'm opposed to illegal immigration. I do believe it's a complex issue but every case is different,” Allen said.

He said it is important to find common ground in this issue.

The Lara’s hope the protest of this complex issue sends a message to the government.

"We do hope with all the support and all, it will send a message to them, letting them know we are important here even though we are immigrants but we are important too,” Aleida said.

However, Allen does not think this demonstration, which he said groups have all the right to do, will impact policy.

"I do think it sends a message but I don't think it will change anything because you know our president is strong headed as well as our governor and what they say it's what's going to go," Allen said.

Some Central Texas residents News Channel 25 spoke with who declined an on camera interview did say they did not find the purpose of the protest. 

Copyright 2017 KXXV. All rights reserved.