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US businesses shut to back immigrants for a day

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Some of Washington’s trendiest restaurants have shuttered for the day

US businesses and schools face possible disruption as workers and students vow to stay home to draw attention to the contribution of immigrants.

The movement, which spread through social media, calls upon foreign-born workers to refuse to participate in the US economy for one day.

Dozens of restaurants in Washington were shut on Thursday, as well as in several locations around the country.

Schools have also poised for the possibility of student walkouts.

In Massachusetts, Wellesley’s College’s art museum will remove all artworks created or donated by immigrants.

School officials in New Mexico, the US state with the highest percentage of Hispanic residents, are worried that hundreds of kids may stay home.

“We respectfully ask all parents to acknowledge that students need to be in class every day to benefit from the education they are guaranteed and to avoid falling behind in school and life,” school administrators with the Albuquerque Public Schools wrote in a letter to parents.

Media captionBecoming citizens in the shadow of the Trump presidency

The Los Angeles United School District, the nation’s second largest district, rang parents to warn them.

“All students and staff are encouraged, and expected, to come to school…. I urge students and staff not to disrupt learning by participating in protests or walkouts during the instructional day,” chief-of-staff Alma Pena-Sanchez said in a voicemail message sent to parents.

One school in the US capital has decided to close down for the day, in order to allow teachers to protest.

The 426 primary students of the Latin American Montessori Bilingual Public Charter School have been given the day off in solidarity with the boycott.

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Earlier this month 6,700 immigrants were sworn in as citizens at the LA Convention Center.

Andy Shallal, who is closing several of his Washington-area restaurants, is an immigrant from Iraq – one of the seven countries on Mr Trump’s proposed travel ban executive order.

He told local media that “as an immigrant myself, I could not stand on the sidelines and watch the rest of my staff not be here. I wanted to make sure we are in solidarity with them”.

One of the protest leaders, Spanish-American celebrity chef Jose Andres, had a public falling out with Donald Trump when he decided to pull out of a contract to open a restaurant in Mr Trump’s new Washington hotel.

Mr Trump is currently suing him for $10m (£8m) for breach of contract and the chef is counter-suing for $8m (£6.4m).

A march is also planned for the White House, but it is unclear how many people will attend.

Last month, nearly 500,000 protesters took the the streets of Washington to protest over the presidency of Donald Trump and to draw attention to issues affecting women.

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