Nearly 8,000 take part in 'A Day Without Immigrants' march in Ch - | WBTV Charlotte

Nearly 8,000 take part in 'A Day Without Immigrants' march in Charlotte

(WBTV Sky3) (WBTV Sky3)

The city of Charlotte estimated 7,000-8,000 demonstrators took to the streets in uptown Charlotte to march for "A Day Without Immigrants" Thursday afternoon. City officials also say there were no reports of arrests.

Immigrants across the country are taking part in the protest, boycotting their jobs, shopping, and even classes at school. Horns were honking and marchers were chanting "yes we can." 

Thursday's march in Charlotte started around noon at Marshall Park as protesters made their way to the government center. Organizers tell WBTV their expectations were met and they believe their efforts will make a difference. 

Immigrants didn't mind shutting down their businesses. They say it was worth getting their voices heard. 

"America was built on immigrant hands and it was built for everyone to prosper," business owner Alex Garcia said. "And we feel like if we lose a day of business, it's important because if I lose my mother to deportation or I lose a brother or if a restaurant loses a chef to deportation, we are not going to make money anyways. So we might as well close our businesses so that we can get some impact out here."

Nationwide, organizers urge legal residents as well as undocumented ones to take part in the boycott as a response to President Trump's crackdown on immigration, which includes plans to build a border wall on the border with Mexico and place a temporary immigration ban on nationals from a group of Muslim-majority countries.

Zhenia Martinez owns Las Delicias Bakery off Central Avenue. Her business was just one of the dozens across Charlotte that closed their doors Thursday. 

"This business has been here for 20 years. It was founded by my parents. Immigrants," Martinez said. 

Action NC tells WBTV 250 businesses closed for the rally. 

“It seems essential that when something like this comes along, we needed to step up,” Martinez said. 

Some Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) parents took their kids out of school to participate in Thursday's rally. They want to teach them a lesson about life and how to have their voices heard.

"We all support the voice," CMS parent Gerrie Rodo said. "My son has been saying there's a lot of kids in his school that are afraid. They are worried about their mom and dad not making it home from work when they get home from school."

Rally organizers want city leaders in Charlotte to do more to help immigrants not be afraid living in their community. Hispanic leaders are planning to meet with federal lawmakers very soon to talk about immigration. 

RELATED ARTICLES: CMS urges Hispanics not to skip school today as part of national immigrant protest | Restaurants closing nationwide for immigration protest

Dozens of businesses shut down for the day in Rowan County. Click here to see the business taking part.  

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