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Immigrants protest
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‘Day Without Immigrants’ protests being held across US

In this file photo, family members who have just arrived from Syria embrace and are greeted by family who live in the United States upon their arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

Thousands of people — in Seattle and across the country — are expected to stay home from school and work on Thursday to show how critical they are to the U.S. economy and way of life.

“A Day Without Immigrants” actions are planned in cities including Philadelphia, Washington state, Boston, Houston, Chicago and New York. The protest gained momentum on social media and by word of mouth.

Related: Weekend of general strikes and a rally planned for Seattle

Anton Churaman, of Pam’s Kitchen in Wallingford, told KIRO 7 his mother and his sister immigrated to the US in 1995.

“We came from zero; we cleaned people’s houses, toilets, whatever,” Churaman said, with the goal of building a Caribbean restaurant in Seattle.

“This is our heart, this is our soul, this is everything to my entire family,” Churaman said.

Pam’s Kitchen will be closed Thursday.

The immigrants protest comes in response to President Donald Trump, whose administration has pledged to increase the deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally. Trump campaigned on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and blamed high unemployment on immigration. As president, he’s called for a ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries from coming into the U.S.

Organizers expect thousands of people to participate or show solidarity with workers.

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