NEW ORLEANS – Some customers were greeted with closed doors Thursday during a ‘Day without Immigrants’.
The day was created to show others how immigrants impact the community.
Ideal Market employee Luis Garcia says he's living the American dream.
"Me personally, I can come here and the sky's the limit, I'm trying to make a positive impact to this community and this country,” Garcia said.
He thinks everyone should be given the same chance.
"Give them that opportunity and you will see we can make this country a better country,” Garcia said.
That's why Garcia and several other employees at Ideal Market closed the store today and took their message outside.
"We're just trying to make our voice heard,” Garcia said.
It's a message of unity.
"Everybody here is an immigrant,” Garcia said. “Everybody except the Native Americans."
‘A Day Without Immigrants’ has taken place for the last few years, but participants said this year the movement is a little more important.
"We're trying to give that positive message to the Capitol city,” Garcia said.
Customers were supportive.
"I just feel like they deserve better than what the government is trying to pursue,” Jeraithe Lee said.
Across town, the nonprofit Nuestra Voz said the rhetoric coming from the White House is having an impact on children.
"How can students learn if their day to day existence is in doubt?" Executive Director Mary Moran asked.
Volunteers spent the day in schools talking with immigrant children about their value.
"We matter. When we don't go to work, when we don't show up things shut down,” Moran said.
Whether businesses quietly shut down today or encouraged employees to share their views out front the overall message was the same- everyone belongs.
"We are one,” Garcia said.