MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KJCT) -- Businesses across the country either closed completely, or allowed employees to take the day off to show solidarity for immigrants.
In response to President Trump’s immigration plans, people across the country protested Thursday for “A Day without Immigrants.”
According to migrationpolicy.org, there are nearly 20 million legal immigrants in the United States.
“I got to the United States in 1998," said Carlo Ruiz, a Mesa County resident who immigrated to the U.S. at just 22 years old. “My first impression of America was about opportunities, about hard working people getting ahead."
After living in this country for more than a decade, Ruiz became a citizen a few years ago.
He was one of thousands who didn’t attend work for the day.
“I decided to join this effort of 'a day without immigrants' because I think it's very important to send a message,” said Ruiz.
Tom Acker, with the Hispanic Affairs Project, said it’s important to stand by everyone in the country.
“I think it's an important means for showing solidarity with the immigrant community, we have to remember we're all one or two generations away from immigrants ourselves," said Acker.
Ruiz said having gone through the process of becoming a citizen, it’s not that easy.
“It's more complex than what you think, in order to become a citizen you have to have somebody to apply for you to become a citizen,” said Ruiz.
He said if there’s one message he hopes to send.
“We have a very strong stereotype, just like bad people, and that's not the case,” said Ruiz. “We are here, we're just hard working people who want to provide for our families, who want more opportunities."
Both the Chamber of Commerce and downtown business improvement district said there were no closings that they were aware of for the day.