Thousands gathered in uptown Charlotte for 'Day Without Immigrants' protest

- Immigrants 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 Charlotte as well as Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, Houston, Chicago and New York. The protest gained momentum on social media and by word of mouth.

The Charlotte Observer reports that Compare Foods is among 18 businesses in the Queen City that are reportedly closed. At noon Thursday, organizers in Charlotte plan to hold a rally in Marshall Park. 

It 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.

Statement from the City of Charlotte: 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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