Many immigrants skipped work and spent no money onÂ Valentinesâ€™ Day, one of Americaâ€™s busiest commercial holidays
Dr Raj Karnatak, a critical care physician practicing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, spent Feb. 14, working in a busy intensive care unit of his hospital all day.
â€œAlthough, I wanted to be part of ‘A Day Without Immigrants,’ but working in ICU all day, I canâ€™t abandon my patients,â€ he says, â€œAs a doctor, I understand the difference between humane behavior versus inhumane green card backlog.â€
Karnatak is among hundreds of thousands of Indians currently stuck in a green card backlog in the United States, which many experts believe is a result of an archaic immigration system in America.
Read: Immigrants begin â€˜#NoSleepTilCitizenshipâ€™ at Schumerâ€™s home (October 7, 2021)
Many Indians participated in â€˜A Day Without Immigrantsâ€™ rallies in several cities across the US. Several others shared with the American Bazaar that they are already out of work due to delays in their work-permit authorization and the initiative aptly describes the situation they are facing.
The immigrant community in the US chose to mark the day by choosing to not show up at school, business or work as well as not to spend any money on Valentinesâ€™ Day, one Americaâ€™s biggest commercial holidays.
So, while across the country many immigrants participated in rallies and protests, #ADayWithoutImmigrants continued to trend through the day on social media.
Many immigrants skipped work and school to march to the Capitol in Washington, DC, to be a part of the national â€œA Day Without Immigrants,â€ initiative.
The protestors, many of whom wore red to mark the day, were calling upon the Biden administration to offer fair pathways to citizenship.
The campaign kickstarted by famous Tik Tok user Carlos Eduardo Espina who has 2.5 million followers aimed to pressure President Joe Biden to prioritize protecting immigrants.
Many immigrants hailing from Latin America, chose to make their absence felt to stress the importance of immigrants in the United States.
Many Indians who have been bearing the brunt of the broken immigration system and are awaiting permanent residency while facing the fear of their kids having to deport themselves found a resonance with the idea and at many places joined the rallies.
Seattle based Anu Shah, who has been on a career sabbatical ever since her H4-EAD expired last year, says, â€œI wish I had a job to report to.â€
â€œThese days the only job I have is to try to call the USCIS to ask for my pending work permit processing,â€ she said. â€œI guess Iâ€™ll mark the day by taking a break from that, at least it will save me some upsetting moments.â€
Niraj Sinh, an IT professional who joined a rally at the Capitol says, â€œIt was good to meet so many immigrants from different communities.
While we may be thinking of the Indian community mostly, the truth is our Latino brethren are also victims of a broken immigration system. Maybe, together we can create a more resounding effect.â€