Image taken on Jan. 25, 2017, shows a view of a section of the border wall between Mexico and the United States, in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. (Xinhua/Alicia Fernandez)
by Peter Mertz
DENVER, the United States, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Restaurants, schools and construction sites staffed by Mexican workers in Denver were silent Thursday.
Thousands of "immigrants" in this western U.S. city stayed home to support the national "A Day Without Immigrants" movement that saw participation of millions across the country, in reaction to Trump's anti-immigration policies.
In Denver, Julia Torres, 36, a high school teacher, noted on Twitter that only 6 out of 24 students were in class at the end of the day.
That was because parents of the students were taking a day off from work for the movement and they wanted to stay home with their kids, school officials said.
Denver employers reported that employees who had "worked for 20 years without missing a day" were gone Thursday.
One Denver restaurateur said that his Latino staff had done their "prep work" the day before so their absence meant no loss of revenue. But they were still noticeably absent Thursday.
Local celebrity chef Frank Bonanno, who owns several restaurants in Denver, closed Osteria Marco and Russell's Smokehouse Thursday in support of the movement.
Bonanno, of Italian descent, was quick to support his "Latino" workers.
Although the modern term "Latino" refers to 700 million people living in Central and South America, the word also applies to those whose native language originates from Latin.
So, "Latin" also represents Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and other ethnic groups of Old World Latin nations.
Maria Empanada, an Argentinean restaurant on South Broadway in Denver, was also closed for the day.
Lorena Cantarovici, the restaurant's owner, said on Facebook she's a "proud immigrant who came to America for a better life," and she could not condone Trump's policies.
While the widespread absence of immigrants from their workplaces showed that they too represent a considerable part of the U.S. economy, those who had to abandon the idea of taking part in the movement exposed their weakness.
Miguel Mendoza, a construction worker from Veracruz, Mexico, told Xinhua he had to work because his boss, a big Trump supporter, told him, "take the day off, but I'm not going to pay you."
"I'm only working today because I need the money," said Mendoza, 35, a Denver resident for 10 years.
He received his green card two years ago, making him a legal resident of the United States. But back home south-of-the-border, he has children to support and bills to pay.
"My boss likes Trump, so I am worried I might get fired," Mendoza told Xinhua. "If I did not come to work, he would hire someone else to take my place."
Mendoza's boss runs a small construction company in Longmont, Colorado, a small, conservative, blue-collar city 60 miles (97 km) north of Denver.
Like many such small American businesses, Mendoza's white boss employs Americans of Mexican or Latino decent.
The same scenario greeted Jesus Gonzales in Rifle, Colorado, who works for an American-owned fencing company in Colorado's remote Western Slope.
"My boss is an American businessman. He doesn't like Trump, but if I show up late for work or take a day off, I might get fired," he said.
Gonzales has a wife and four children to feed, so he worked Thursday without complaining.
"Sure I'd like to protest, and I think that deep inside, Trump dislikes many immigrants, but I must support my family," he told Xinhua.