Latino and Hispanic community participate in national movement

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Dozens of people came together in Downtown Wilmington Wednesday night to announce they are joining others across the country to participate in a day without Latinos and Hispanics.

Thursday people across the country are participating in a national movement called a “Day Without Immigrants” and across the Cape Fear they are calling it “A Day Without Latinos and Hispanics.”

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People of all races joined together on the steps of the Federal courthouse in Downtown Wilmington to make a statement. Organizer Maria Castillo is one of many who feel the recent arrests of hundreds of immigrants in several states by ICE agents is unfair.

“I understand deporting criminals who are here illegally. That part I completely agree with. But separating innocent families. It’s just not right,” Castillo said.

Owner of Los Portales Supermarket, Miguel Angel Villansenor is one of several businesses taking action. Miguel is closing down his shop and taco bar all day Thursday.

“I don’t think it’s right. He’s deporting people. Or immigrants. Separating families. It’s not human. It’s not right,” Villansenor said.

Castillo says the supermarket is one of at least 70 businesses participating in the movement.

“That we show even if it’s just here locally in Wilmington. Or North Carolina. That we show that this country cannot survive without Latinos. Without Hispanics. Without our community,” Castillo said.

The movement calls for members of those communities to not work, shop, eat out, or send their children to school. All in hopes of sending a powerful message.

“I’m hoping it’s gonna be a huge impact. And people will realize that we matter and our voice is going to be heard one way or another,” Castillo said.

Protesters are rallying at Hugh Macrae park from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday evening.