WASHINGTON, D.C. — Support is growing in Congress for the “Day Without Immigrants” protest planned for Monday, February 14. The rationale behind the protest led by TikTok star Carlos Eduardo Espina is that immigrant labor underwrites Valentine’s Day every year.
“At a time when many industries say they can’t find workers, this ‘Day Without Immigrants’ sends the message that our economy can’t do without immigrants,” said Rep. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) in a statement on Wednesday.
Nos vemos ahí en Washington DC ??❤️?? #UnDiaSinInmigrantes
Espina announced Tuesday on TikTok that he plans to travel to Washington for Monday’s protest and encouraged his followers to join him in front of the White House. Meanwhile, the Facebook group Espina created to coordinate the event has ballooned to nearly 80,000 members.
“I think that these immigrants are making the very important point that without immigrants in this country, the economy would collapse,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in a hallway interview with Latino Rebels on Monday.
“I’ll definitely support it,” said Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-CA), “but we should also recognize that not all of them can do it because of their status or the fact that they can’t go a day without wages.”
“I wish them well in what they’re doing,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX). “I think the country doesn’t realize or doesn’t take notice of how much we rely on immigrant labor in several major American industries that wouldn’t exist the way that they do and wouldn’t prosper the way that they do but for immigrant labor.”
“There’s really no economist that sees a future where we can have enough workers to keep our economy healthy without immigrant workers,” said Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI) when asked by Latino Rebels about the protest at a press conference Wednesday. “Disproportionately they’ve been essential to workers on the front lines exposed to COVID for over two years now. And so we really should be giving them all respect and appreciation.”
After Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) came out in support of the Day Without Immigrants last week, Espina made a video featuring Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks to Latino Rebels that has been played over 1.2 million times on TikTok.
Vamos mi gente que si se puede ??❤️ #UnDiaSinInmigrantes Gracias @pabloreports por hacer la pregunta ??
“We should remember that it’s not just Valentine’s Day but every day this country runs on immigrant labor,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ).
Pablo Manríquez is the Washington correspondent for Latino Rebels. Twitter: @PabloReports