What happened on the Day Without Immigrants?

What happened on the Day Without Immigrants?

I’m curious if anyone has seen any figures on the impact of the “Day Without Immigrants,” especially economically. I haven’t seen anything. Frankly, I’m dubious as to the effect of one-day boycotts of any kind. Most people will just defer activity for a day. If you don’t buy your groceries today, you’ll buy them tomorrow. If the tomatoes aren’t picked today, they’ll be picked tomorrow. And so on.

What I have seen is reports of the impact of the day on immigrant businessmen. After all, aren’t the small businessmen who choose to operate in immigrant neighborhoods—usually immigrants themselves—going to be the hardest hit? Wal-Mart will shrug off the blip in it’s multi-million-dollar per day sales, but the little store without any income for a day could hurt, especially if he chooses to remain open against community pressure.

Wanderlei Sousa of the Brazilian dress shop on Peabody’s Central Street told a dark story about yesterday’s so-called Day Without Immigrants. Sousa was among those immigrant businesspeople who stayed open. Others decided to close — like the Brazilian bakery on Walnut Street. Sousa was no fan of the boycott, pointing out that it mainly hurt immigrant shopkeepers like himself. “It’s been very, very slow,” he said.

On a normal Monday morning, he said, he could expect to do 50 transactions, with many of his fellow Brazilians coming for the smart fashions popular back home. Yesterday he’d seen barely half a dozen. Sousa, who said he’s in the process of attaining legal status, acknowledged that there was pressure to close. “Some guy called me last week, a Spanish guy.” He was asked to close, and when he declined to do it, the caller suggested, “If you open — aren’t you afraid someone will break your windows?”

One other aspect of this whole immigration debate that has been disturbing has been the lack of distinctions made by pundits and the media. They seem to phrase the debate as being about immigration as a whole, when in reality what most people oppose is illegal immigration. It’s like talking about the debate over stem-cell research without making the distinction between morally appropriate adult stem cells and immorally obtained embryonic stem cells. The debate would be much more honest if we could be more careful in making distinctions.

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  • I was in W. Palm Beach on business and squeezing in dinner with my brother’s family, total party of 6. The kids love this nearby Mexican restaurant and I love to take them…

    It was closed because of the boycott.

    We went to a local nearby Italian place instead. Total tab $126 dollars.

    On my way out of town, I taped the receipt an brief note as to how I they not only weakened their position with a loyal customer, but made their competitor stronger.

  • My wife worked … then again she’s legal and we have the financial and emotional scars to prove it.

    I’ll never forget those 18 months of hell as the INS processed a last minute amnesty by Clintoon and our case was shoved aside.

    Senator Kennedy .. I am your enemy for life.

    It’s been funny listening to legal immigrants on talk radio … they’re basically calling for loading illegals onto box cars and shipping them directly home, no trial, no discussion, no nothing.

  • I gave a test. My immigrant students were there. If it hadn’t been for the internet I would not have known there was a boycott. From Akron.

  • Many people in LA were surprisingly pleased when their commutes were cut in half due to the low volume of traffic said one report. Apparently traffic hasn’t been that light since the 50s. This left many to consider the trade off between having an extra 10 to 15 hours per week and cheap labor.

  • After all, aren’t the small businessmen who choose to operate in immigrant neighborhoods—usually immigrants themselves— going to be the hardest hit?

    Considering that the primary organizers of the “boycott” were Socialist organizations like ANSWER, do you suppose that might have been part of the goal?