Hundreds descend upon KC City Hall for ‘A Day Without Immigrants’

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Under a sunny, clear bright sky the loud chants filled the air.

"We are united! We won't be divided. Mr. Trump, No ban! No wall. We love America too," shouted several hundred people who stood in solidarity outside City Hall in downtown Kansas City today.

The huge crowd of protesters, mainly Hispanic Americans, flooded the front lawn, sidewalks and gathered at the corner of 12th and Oak Street as part of a nationwide boycott called "A Day Without Immigrants."

"We're not criminals like President Trump and many others think just because we are Hispanic," said a frustrated Estefania Ramos.

"I didn't go to school today because this is important for me to be here. I want people to know we are immigrants, we are Americans and we want to make America great just like Mr. Trump said," said eighth grader Martha Campos, who stood beside her dad and held a sign that read "racism is evil."

The immigrants of all ages showed up in droves early this morning around 10 and as the clock ticked, the crowd grew. Moms and dads had their little ones in tow, on their shoulders, and all around them.

"We sometimes provide jobs for people. We also pay taxes," said Guatemala native Gladys Morales, who owns a lawn and landscaping business in Merriam. Morales and her three children participated in Thursday's rally.

Morales was just one of the many entrepreneurs who closed their business today, didn't send their kids to school or didn't go shopping. The protesters say the boycott was their response to President Donald Trump's travel ban and crack down on illegal immigration.

"We are not criminals. We are Hispanic-Americans and we deserve to be treated like human beings," said Morales.

The energetic demonstrators say they also hope the rowdy rally, that lasted for at least four hours, would have a big impact on the local economy.

"My message to President Trump is that I hope he would start respecting everybody and remember that we're all equal and this community belongs to all of us," said 10th grader Kimberly Banueles.

"Let's just see how much of an impact we will have not showing up today. I'm sure out protest will have a big impact on the economy," said Shawn Delgado, a co-founder of the rally and president of International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

"We work hard like everybody else. We want to work hard, do what's right and be treated like Americans. I didn't go to work today because I had to be here," said restaurant employee Gerardo Campos, as he he too proudly held a sign that read: "We love America."

By late afternoon, the peaceful protest took another turn. Police say while most of the protesters remained orderly, officers still had to arrest three people, including one for spitting on an officer.

FOX 4 photographer Jon Haiduk also got quick video of officers issuing tickets to a couple of drivers, who were honking their horns in support of the protesters. Officers told FOX 4 they were only issuing tickets to those people who held up traffic or stopped in the middle of the streets.

Not so, says one man, who didn't give us his name.

"I was standing right there when a Kansas City police officer told another officer to ticket all hispanic people who stopped on Locust Street," said the man who walked behind the demonstrators when the crowd marched around City Hall.

Back in the rowdy crowd, Roberto Rosales, wrapped in a huge Mexican flag on the steps of City Hall, said he hopes President Trump hears their message.

"It's just not right for us to be mistreated. We have rights and we have a right to express how we feel," shouted Rosales.



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