BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Their chants echoed through the streets of Baltimore, but their voices are being heard across the country.
Hundreds of immigrants joined together in solidarity at Patterson Park.
“Americans, Latinos, everyone needs to come together. This country is built of immigrants” says Luis Contreres, business owner in Baltimore.
Thursday was organized as a “Day Without immigrants.” Many walked off their jobs and out of classes and took an economic boycott.
“We’re supporting friends and neighbors and family so we don’t have any more deportations here in the City” says Maria Aldana.
Lilia Torres says she lost her job in Fells Point just for taking off to show up.
“She said if you don’t come into work, you lose your job. She took that risk. She cares more about standing up for us then her job. She’s the best mom ever” says Evelin Torres, Lilia’s daughter.
But other restaurants in Baltimore showed their support, some like Alma Cocina Latina in Canton shut down for the day.
“It means a lot to me because this is the land of opportunity, this is the land of freedom and this is a land of incredible diversity. This is what makes the united states so incredibly interesting” says owner Irena Stein.
Reminding the public just how important immigrants are.
“I will do anything to support a dialogue, an openness, just like the united states has been for me and my family. Our team in general in the kitchen, they all come from different parts of central america and south america,” says Stein.
The march in Baltimore is just one of many taking place across the country on Thursday. From San Francisco to North Carolina, it was a similar scene. Thousands nationwide standing tall against Trump’s crackdown. One that’s brought them anxiety and nerves like never before.
“It’s frightening, people are legit scared that they may be next” says Andrew Reinel of Baltimore.
Statement from Baltimore City Police Commissioner Kevin Davis:
I am writing to address the escalating anxiety over the enforcement actions conducted by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) division last week. As reported in the Washington Post and other news outlets, such enforcement actions have been conducted in several areas throughout the country. There has also been at least one ICE-involved arrest in Southeast Baltimore, the details of which have been widely shared on social media.
Upon hearing these reports, I reached out to the DHS Special Agent in Charge of the Baltimore region. He assured me that no sweeps have been conducted in Baltimore. However, routine enforcement actions are ongoing, just as they were in the prior Presidential administration. The Baltimore Police Department (BPD) had no involvement in the case being shared on social media, and it appears it was part of ICE’s routine enforcement activity.
Baltimore is a diverse community and home to a large population of immigrants. The anxiety felt by the community during this time of transition and uncertainty is understandable and shared by all.
BPD does not enforce federal immigration laws. This is the responsibility of federal law enforcement agencies. Further, it is not BPD’s policy for our officers to ask about an individual’s immigration status.