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Sunset Park, Bay Ridge tumbleweeds on day of ‘immigrant strike’

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Photo gallery

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Shuttered: Tacos El Bronco on Fourth Avenue and 44th Street in Sunset Park did not open on Feb. 16 as part of the national a “day without immigrants” strike.
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A day without tacos: A sign explains the restaurant’s reasoning.
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Margarita shortage: Las Margaritas on Third Avenue near 72nd Street in Bay Ridge couldn’t open because staff didn’t show up.
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Closed for a cause: El Rancho on Fifth Avenue near 44th Street rolled its gate down in solidarity with the neighborhoods immigrants.
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Ghost town: It was tough to find lingerie and votive candles in Sunset Park on Thursday.

Immigrants in Sunset Park and Bay Ridge shuttered their storefronts and stayed home from work on Thursday as part of a national protest against President Trump’s policies toward immigrants. The “day without immigrants” called for locals, whether naturalized citizens or undocumented, to stay home from work or school, close their businesses, and refrain from shopping to demonstrate the economic importance of foreigners. It was a crucial day of solidarity, said one Sunset Park deli worker who was on strike.

“A lot of gates are down on Fifth Avenue because this is important. It’s important to show that we can come together at a moment’s notice and stand up for what we think is right and against policies that are unconstitu­tional,” said Sunset Parker Daniel Aguayo, who emigrated from Mexico more than 20 year ago. “I didn’t go to work because I wanted to take a stand and physically show people what they will loose without immigrants like myself. It’s a moment of solidarity.”

Word of the strike and walk-outs spread Wednesday night through social media and spread to several major cities including Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore in response to Trump’s executive order that bans citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from traveling to the U.S. and a separate order that directs agencies to swiftly deport illegal aliens who have committed or are wanted for committing a crime.

Some business owners were forced to close up shop when none of their staff showed up, including the owner of Las Margraitias in Bay Ridge on Third Avenue.

“I had to close today because three of my employees didn’t come to work,” said Emanuel, who declined to give his last name. “I can’t open if I don’t have a cook and waiters.”

Dozens of students from Sunset Park High School walked out of class and took to the streets marching through the nabe carrying signs that stated, “Education not Deportation,” and waved flags from Mexico and the seven countries where citizens are banned from traveling to the U.S. And grade-school classrooms were noticeably spare with some Sunset Park classrooms missing up to 10 students who stayed home with their families, teachers said.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.

Updated 1:23 pm, February 17, 2017
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Reader feedback

Hillary from Prison says:
going to leave them all nice yelp reviews. LOL !
Feb. 17, 2017, 6:09 pm
Bob from Gerritsen Beach says:
"Tacos El Bronco on Fourth Avenue and 44th Street in Sunset Park did not open on Feb. 16 as part of the national a “day without immigrants” strike."
And to my amazement, I survived.
Feb. 17, 2017, 6:49 pm
panco from brooklyn says:
they close there stores and them they came to my for tacos thank you for the more money I made. protest again do it everyday
Feb. 18, 2017, 12:06 pm
bernadette from cropsey says:
now we know were the illegals work. i am forwarding this to ICE right now.
Feb. 18, 2017, 4:38 pm
regina from crown heights says:
get ready HERE COMES THE WALL!
Feb. 20, 2017, 12:50 am
Harrison (Harry High-Hat The Drummer) from Kensington says:
Every single one of these anti-American rebels must be fired. And true patriots must patronize the businesses that were put in a position where they had to dismiss these anti-American immigrants. We need to show that we love our country and we love our president. And we need to defeat the bad guys with their riots and their crime and their anti-American ways.
Feb. 20, 2017, 5:34 pm

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