AUSTIN - While business at Fruittilandia on East Riverside is typically steady, owner Antonio Acuna is already planning to close the doors Thursday.
He, along with multiple other local businesses, will be purposely staying home and skipping work on Thursday.
"It's going to hurt a lot of businesses and especially the economy," Acuna said. "But it's for a good cause."
Acuna is willingly giving up a day's profits to participate in "Un Dia Sin Immigrantes," or "A Day Without Immigrants."
The movement, Acuna said, is meant to show the entire community how large and involved the Hispanic population is.
"Grocery stores, meat markets, doctors, lawyers -- every single business is hurt," He said. "We hope, I hope, that by doing this they see that we are important to this community. Not only our presence but our economic presence as well."
Paul Castillo, the Manager at Taqueria Arandinas off North Lamar Boulevard, is also participating in the movement. He said it's also about showing solidarity for the Hispanic community.
"We're losing money," Castillo said. "But we don't want to lose our customers, or our employees. Hispanic people, Mexican people, people from South America, we've know them for all these years and now we see them out to the streets and they're scared. They feel persecuted, you know?"
KVUE's news partners at the Austin American-Statesman put together a list of businesses that confirmed on Tuesday via phone or through signs on their doors that they were closing. Other businesses surprised their customers on Thursday by posting signs on their shuttered doors.
Among the closed businesses were several Torchy's Tacos and McDonald's locations. KVUE's Jay Wallis also found other businesses in person that were closed Thursday:
I have found multiple stores closed this morning in conjunction with today's national protest, "A Day Without Immigrants." pic.twitter.com/ebVbnBa6uK— Jay Wallis (@KVUEJayWallis) February 16, 2017
Here are four more businesses I found closed due to the protest, including a Burger King near the intersection of I-35 and St. Johns Ave. pic.twitter.com/n0a6xceugc— Jay Wallis (@KVUEJayWallis) February 16, 2017
The movement doesn't only call for businesses to close down on the Feb. 16, it also calls for all immigrants to stay home, to not spend money online or in stores, to close their businesses and to not attend school or classes.
Hundreds also rallied outside the Austin City Hall Thursday for those choosing to participate in "Un Dia Sin Immigrantes."
Organizers called for a peaceful protest starting at 10 a.m. They asked attendees to wear white shirts to show a peaceful movement and to wear or bring U.S. flags.
More information on Thursday's Rally can be found at the event's Facebook Page.
No matter the outcome, Castillo and Acuna said the most important thing is to show their community and families that they aren't alone.
"We just want to let them know that we are with them," Castillo said.
"I consider every single Hispanic as part of my family," Acuna said. "I support them 100 percent, and that's the reason we're closing on Thursday.
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