Topeka businesses close for #DayWithoutImmigrants movement

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) --- Topeka's Latino community came together at the State Capitol Building steps, taking part in the nationwide Day Without Immigrants movement.

"I feel like we need to support immigrants," said business owner Azucena Tavares. "We know that we all work hard and have come here with a dream and hope for a better life."

Participants say this demonstration is a response to President Donald Trump's immigration agenda that includes a pledge to seal the US border with Mexico and increase deportation of undocumented immigrants.

"It's always been risk, it's always been a lot and it's always been there, but after this (election) it has just been a lot more strict," said Emily Lopez. "I believe that a lot more people think if someone so big like our president can say negative stuff, why can't we?"

"We come to this country for a better life, for a better opportunity and it's being somewhat blocked by some of the current laws passed on," said Sergio Hernandez Baez.

Restaurants and businesses all across Topeka closed in response to the protest asking immigrants to not go to school, work, open their businesses, and not spend any money.

"Understand the pain that we are going through, it's not easy, this protest is not easy to do," said Lopez. "It's not easy to stay calm through all of this, but you kill them with kindness."

More than 2400 students were absent from Dodge City schools due to the protest. Topeka Public Schools had no school today due to parent/teacher conferences.