Students, businesses take part in 'Day Without Immigrants' protest across Bay Area

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Many businesses are closed and students are absent from school Thursday as people take part in a protest called "A Day Without Immigrants." (KGO-TV)

Many businesses are closed and students are absent from school Thursday as people take part in a protest called "A Day Without Immigrants."

Demonstrators gathered at city hall in San Francisco to make the argument that the United States needs immigrants.

The largest school district in Santa Clara County received a lot of calls from parents saying their student was going to be absent. "We do have a lot of immigrant students in the district. We don't have a number because we don't track immigration status amongst our families and students, which is one way we protect them," Peter Allen told ABC7 News.

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Students and workers across the country are taking part in the protests, hoping to show how critical they believe immigrants are to the country's economy and way of life.

But, officials with San Jose Unified are encouraging parents to send their kids to class. "As far as we're concerned it's our job to educate them and they're not in class, so it's an unexcused absence," Allen said.

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Many Bay Area stores and restaurants are staying closed in support of the movement. All five of Gazzali's Supermarkets in Oakland are shut down for the first time ever, and all 10 Chavez Supermarkets were closed as well.

"I hope that by everybody staying home it gets to his attention that it's not a good thing to do, because without immigrants this country would be nothing," Mountain View resident Doris Lopez said.

Some workers weren't happy with the closures no matter how they felt about immigration issues. "One less paycheck for my family," Chavez Supermarket stockroom worker Eli Jaramillo said. He showed up to work at 7 a.m. Thursday to find the doors closed.

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