“A Day Without Immigration” in Connecticut

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — All along Grand Avenue in New Haven gates are up and doors are locked. Many area businesses choosing no to open today as part of the national movement, A Day Without Immigration.

“Hopefully this will be a wake-up call for people to get engaged with their community because at the end of the day what hurts one of us hurts us all,” said Jesus Morales.

Jesus moved to New Haven from Mexico six years ago with his parents. Now a college student he is also an advocate for immigrant equality.

“It’s an immigrant that very, very likely, you know, is cooking your food at a restaurant, at a local restaurant. It’s an immigrant that is doing some work so that you can benefit,” said Morales.

The Connecticut Restaurant Association says more than 2.3 million immigrants work in restaurants nationwide. In Hamden the Wood n Tap showed solidarity for their employees by closing its doors and all of their locations across the state.

Julia Fullick-Jagiela is a management professor at Quinnipiac University and says immigrants aren’t just working, they’re creating jobs. Statistics show immigrants are more likely to open their own business than people who are born here.

“A lot of them are coming from countries where it would be impossible to start up their own businesses so they come to the United States. They get educations. They really wanna give back,” said Fullick-Jagiela.

Giving back is just what Jesus is planning to do. Today, however, is focused on making sure he and others like him are understood.

“At the end of the day that’s our goal, just survive. Provide for our families and in most cases just achieve the good American dream that we were told since we were kids,” said Jesus.

The people behind A Day Without Immigration are planning an even larger strike for May 1st.

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