DETROIT, MI — Hundreds of immigrant-owned businesses closed
across southeast Michigan Thursday as part of a nationwide “Day
 Without Immigrants” strike to demonstrate both the importance
 of immigrants, and what many see as a heightened anti-immigrant
climate under President Donald Trump that could separate families.
Marchers carried signs, chanted “We are here, we are not leaving,
 we are Americans,” and demonstrated solidarity in protest of
Trump’s executive orders and a crackdown nationwide on
 undocumented immigrants. In the early days of his presidency,
Trump has repeated calls to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico
 border and to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement,
as well as limit the ability of refugees and immigrants from seven
 majority Muslim nations to the United States.
Maria Sanchez, an organizer of a rally in Clark Park, said the goal
of the rallies is to increase the Trump administration’s awareness
of the important role immigrants play in the workforce and in society.
As part of the nationwide Day Without Immigrants strike,
immigrants were urged on social media to stay home from
school or work, and to close their businesses.
“The goal for today is for the President to notice how important
Immigrants are for the country and for the economy and how
bad it would be for the economy if immigrants weren’t in this
 country,’’ Sanchez told the Detroit Free Press, adding the rally
 is “to demand respect for our rights and to unite the immigrant
“We're very worried for the families who are being separated
 and for the pain that families are going through,” she said.

Latinos and other immigrants also marched in Pontiac in
Oakland County. Fear was thick among the rally participants,
 who told The Oakland Press they’ve noticed an increased
 presence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
and border patrol officers in their community.
Michigan United organizer Adonis Flores told the Free Press
 the Day Without Immigrants rallies are important “because
in the current political climate there has been a lot of hate
and racism against immigrants and the African American
 community; people of color.”

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Flora Becerra, a 37-year-old from Romeo who legally immigrated
 to the United States from Mexico in 1995, told The Detroit News
 that she worries she will now face some of the same limitations
 on freedom that she felt in Mexico in America.
“I’m here to support my people, and I’m here to fight for my
people,” she said. “We wanted to let the government know
 that we are not criminals. We are here to work; we are not
 here to steal anybody’s job.”
Among the businesses that closed Wednesday was
Mangonadas Del Barrio, which said on Facebook: “We join
 the cause a day without immigrants we are Mexicans that
 day by day we work for a better future. And above all
 respect our Mexican roots.”

Sheila’s Bakery, located in southwest Detroit, also closed.
“We’ve got to stand and fight for our country,” the bakery
 manager, Arnold Garcia, told WJBK-TV. “It’s a country 
of immigrants.”
Below are some scenes from the rally in Detroit.