Thursday was the national “Day Without Immigrants” protest, an event where immigrants of all statuses walked out of their jobs and schools and protested President Donald Trump. The protest was like candy to the liberal Big Three networks, all of which conducted full reports. “There were protests and walkouts across the country today aimed at demonstrating immigrants' impact on this economy,” announced anchor David Muir on World News Tonight, “It comes after a week of sweeps by immigration authorities and hundreds of arrests.”
“It was all in solidarity with immigrant workers who say President Trump's deportation policies threaten their livelihoods and their future in this country,” touted Jericka Duncan on CBS Evening News. “Organizers here in Philadelphia say at least 80 restaurants shut down or had limited service because of the Day Without Immigrants protest. Scott, another event is being planned already for May 1,” she continued to hype for anchor Scott Pelley.
During NBC Nightly News, reporter Gadi Schwartz glorified the massive amounts of students who skipped school to take part in the anti-Trump protests:
Schools also seeing a drop in attendance. Some seeing more than half of students missing class. Walkouts across the country including Dallas where students at Malina High School formed an impromptu mariachi band. A teacher tweeting these photos saying only 7 out of 26 students showed up. Her teachable moment to give a lesson on Cesar Chavez as tens of thousands send the message that America is a nation of immigrants.
ABC’s Clayton Sandell played up the story of Jeanette Vizguerra, an illegal immigrant who committed a felony by using a fake social security number to get a job. “After 20 years, in the U.S., Vizguerra is now a targeted to be deported,” Sandell fretted, “She’s seeking sanctuary in the basement of this Denver church, hoping she won't be torn away from her kids.”
“Vizguerra says she will stay in this Denver church until the U.S. government tells her she can walk free. She knows that day could be a long time,” he warned.
ABC and CBS both spotlighted stories of various business owners who were looking to stick it to the President. “It’s necessary that we do things to resist the kinds of changes that are being brought upon us by the Trump administration,” a doctor told Sandell. On CBS, a restaurant owner, and husband of an illegal immigrant described the nationwide protest as the people just flexing a muscle.
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World News Tonight
February 16, 2017
6:42:35 PM Eastern
DAVID MUIR: Meantime tonight, there were protests and walkouts across the country today aimed at demonstrating immigrants' impact on this economy. Hundreds marched through the streets of Detroit there where many stores and restaurants were closed. It comes after a week of sweeps by immigration authorities and hundreds of arrests. ABC’s Clayton Sandell from Denver.
[Cuts to video]
CLAYTON SANDELL: Tonight, around the country restaurant kitchens are empty, factories are deserted, and schools quiet. As thousands take to the streets in cities like Chicago, Minneapolis, and Charlotte. A show of solidarity organized on social media. The idea? To demonstrate what life in this country of immigrants might look like without them. Even at the Pentagon food court, some restaurants were closed. This Beverly Hills doctor is juggling patients without a staff.
DR. STEVEN JACOBS: It’s necessary that we do things to resist the kinds of changes that are being brought upon us by the Trump administration.
CBS Evening News
February 16, 2017
6:47:24 PM Eastern
SCOTT PELLEY: Many shops in America were closed today when migrant workers walked off the job to demonstrate their worth. Jericka Duncan has this.
[Cuts to video]
JERICKA DUNCAN: Hundreds took to the streets of Washington today with one clear message:
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: We're not bad people. We want to work. We want to pursue the American dream.
DUNCAN: Those words were echoed across the country as thousands rallied from Chicago, to Raleigh, to Minneapolis, and scores of businesses, including restaurants, were shuttered. It was all in solidarity with immigrant workers who say President Trump's deportation policies threaten their livelihoods and their future in this country. A third of American service jobs are held by undocumented workers. Over 2 million immigrants work in the restaurant industry alone.
BEN MILLER: Every business on this street is generally open. None of them are today.
DUNCAN: Ben Miller from Pennsylvania and his wife, Cristina Martinez, who came here illegally from Mexico, own El Compadre in south Philadelphia. Today, they kept their doors closed. Do you think taking one day off really makes a difference?
MILLER: This is, like, just flexing.
DUNCAN: In other words, you want to just show—
MILLER: The muscle.
DUNCAN: The major impact it could have by one day?
MILLER: That's right. That we support workers. We support protection for workers, for everyone that's working.
DUNCAN: Nearby, Labor Too restaurant is operating with limited staff. Owners say they understand why workers like Josselin Bautista took the day off.
JOSSELIN BAUTISTA: If we don't work, how hard we work every single day, this country is not going to be the same.
[Cuts back to live]
DUNCAN: Organizers here in Philadelphia say at least 80 restaurants shut down or had limited service because of the Day Without Immigrants protest. Scott, another event is being planned already for May 1.
PELLEY: Jericka Duncan, and we'll be back in a moment.
NBC Nightly News
February 16, 2017
7:09:40 PM Eastern
LESTER HOLT: President Trump also vowed to roll out a new executive order next week replacing his travel ban blocked by the courts. Today in protest of the president’s stance for immigration, thousands took part in nationwide Day Without Immigrants as it’s being called. Organizers urged immigrants to not work, not shop or go to school to show their importance to the U.S. economy leading a number of businesses to close for the day. NBC’s Gadi Schwartz has more.
[Cuts to video]
GADI SCHWARTZ: In many of the same neighborhoods where ICS agents rounded up undocumented immigrants last week, stores closed in protest.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It looks like a ghost town.
SCHWARTZ: But immigrants not just shutting down stores, they’re shutting down streets as well. In cases like Chicago, Minneapolis and Atlanta, demonstrations lashing out against President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration, his comments on Mexico and recent deportations of undocumented immigrants. [Little girl] hoping the president sees her marching with her mother.
SCHWARTZ: Schools also seeing a drop in attendance. Some seeing more than half of students missing class. Walk outs across the country including Dallas where students at Malina High School formed an impromptu mariachi band. A teacher tweeting these photos saying only 7 out of 26 students showed up. Her teachable moment to give a lesson on Cesar Chavez as tens of thousands send the message that America is a nation of immigrants. Gadi Schwartz, NBC news, Denver.