Economic Impact of Immigrant Protests

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

May 2, 2006

The day without immigrants is over and now businesses are totaling it's economic impact. So how much did this boycott for immigration reform really affect us in Charlottesville?

Business Analysts say even though some businesses lost income on Monday, when you look at the year as a whole, it was not that much. However, statistics show immigrants play a crucial role in the economy, primarily in areas such as construction, agriculture and hospitality.

Some companies had to shutdown or close early because of staffing problems Monday because many of their immigrant workers didn't show up. Jaidy Polania closed her Hispanic foods grocery store. She said for her it wasn't about the economic impact, but rather a small way to show support.

"For me it's nothing to lose $3,000, it doesn't bother me, because I think we won a lot to show the people, we are people who want peace,we are people who are good workers and we are people who want to be here," said Polania.

Business analysts say if the boycotts would have lasted longer, the economic impact would have been much worse and could have cost many of the immigrant workers their jobs. There are currently an estimated 11 million undocumented workers in the United States.

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