Local businesses take part in ‘Day Without Immigrants’

Update (02-22-17 5:45 p.m.) — A quick clarification regarding this story, part of which was filmed in front of the Mucho Gusto restaurant in Medford. We reported that several local businesses were closed for a ‘Day Without Immigrants’. In an effort to set the record straight, the owners of Mucho Gusto reached out to us.

In their statement they say, ‘Mucho Gusto was not closed to observe or support the “Day Without Immigrants” protest. Mucho Gusto was closed simply because of a staffing shortage that day – which included the store’s General Manager who was out on vacation. Mucho Gusto neither endorsed nor opposed the protest and is a completely apolitical entity. 

We here at NBC5 hope this clarification clears up any misunderstandings with respect to the reasons for the Mucho Gusto closure.

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Medford, Ore. — Thousands of immigrants and supporters around the country took part in a national day without immigrants. Protesters marched in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. Others held rallies to boycott jobs and even held their kids out of school.

The protests are aimed at showing President Trump and America the importance of immigrants and the effect they have on the country on a daily basis. Locally, the protest impacted several local businesses.
Restaurants around the area were closed to mark the day.

Normally, on a Thursday afternoon, Mucho Gusto is filled with customers lining up for the lunch hour rush. But with it being ‘Day Without Immigrants’ – that’s not the case.

“I think that they have to do something so that people have to hear their voice and what they have to say,” said customer Holly Gonnella.

Several local businesses across the Rogue Valley closed business for Thursday in support of ‘Day Without Immigrants.’

“Hundred percent for them creating a movement or awareness – whatever they need to do,” she said.

It’s a decision that garnered a range of reactions from customers.

“A little frustrated. I feel bad for the owners of Mucho Gusto,” said customer Adam Fox.

As a fellow local business owner, Adam Fox understood the reasoning to close for a day, but disagreed with the decision.

“I respect their decision and they have priorities – and a business owner, I have different priorities than they do. So I need to make sure that my business provides not just for my immigrant employees but my other employees that can show up every day,” he said.

That’s an opinion that has others divided.

“It’s pretty laughable because I think that immigrants are working hard at difficult jobs,” she said.

Jobs like farming, serving, and cooking.

“I do agree with it because I do think america should know the pain and inconvenience that’s going to be caused by not enough workers doing the kinds of jobs that immigrants are willing to do in this country,” she said.

Though that may not be a good enough reason for others.

“I feel like I’m going to walk across the street and go eat somewhere else where the employees showed up,” he said.

For customer, Gonnella, the decision just makes her support the company even more.

“I personally prefer to support any business that is supportive, generous, and kind to their employees,” she said.

School districts across the state reported a high absentee rates among students. NBC5 reached out to several of our local school districts, they declined to share that information.

NBC5 News Reporter and Weather Forecaster Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.

She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.

She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.

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