Dozens show up at Phoenix street corner for 'Day Without Immigrants' protest

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Demonstrators held signs and chanted on the corner of 91st Avenue and Camelback Road on Thursday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Demonstrators held signs and chanted on the corner of 91st Avenue and Camelback Road on Thursday. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The demonstration in front of the corner convenience store did attract some negative attention. The demonstration in front of the corner convenience store did attract some negative attention.
State Sen. Steve Smith says while the goal is to prove undocumented immigrants provide tax revenues to the state, he says the state takes other financial hits. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) State Sen. Steve Smith says while the goal is to prove undocumented immigrants provide tax revenues to the state, he says the state takes other financial hits. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
While some took to the streets, there were also parents that kept their children out of school. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) While some took to the streets, there were also parents that kept their children out of school. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

There was a grassroots effort in Phoenix that was part of the nationwide “Day Without Immigrants” protest against President Donald Trump’s hardline policies on immigration.

Demonstrators held signs and chanted on the corner of 91st Avenue and Camelback Road on Thursday.

“They don’t want to dirty their hands, they don’t want to clean a hotel or clean a motel,” says organizer Leticia Armendariz. “They don’t want to go cut the grass, the garden, maintenance.”

Armendariz says she was brought to the country illegally when she was very young. She was a migrant worker who became a citizen in the 1980s. She says she understands the plight of those who remain undocumented and fear deportation. 

[RELATED: Some Phoenix businesses closing for 'Day Without Immigrants' protest]

The demonstration in front of the corner convenience store did attract some negative attention.

“I had the Mexican flag and then the American flag, but I was moving them around,” says Armendariz. “[A bystander] just stopped to say hey the American flag goes first." 

State Sen. Steve Smith commented on the movement outside the capitol building. He says while the goal is to prove undocumented immigrants provide tax revenues to the state, he says the state takes other financial hits.

“For education, just for healthcare, just for incarceration costs alone,” says Smith. “It's tough to justify one over the other."

Sen. Smith says he supports the Trump administration’s priority to deport violent criminals. He says those who think the immigration system is broken don’t want to follow the law.

[READ: Immigrant workers, families to protest by staying home]

“Unfortunately, you do see cases where people are quote-unquote 'swept up in it', but the law is what it is,” says Smith. 

A University of Arizona researcher had concluded that legal and undocumented immigrants were bringing in almost a billion dollars of tax revenue to the state every year before Arizona began enacting tougher immigration measures.

While some took to the streets, there were also parents that kept their children out of school.

According to the Phoenix Union High School District, some schools saw two to three times the typical amount of absences. It said there were about 3,000 additional absences than usual in a school district of about 27,000.

Metro Tech, Maryvale and North high schools had about one-third of their students absent, the district said.

Camelback High School saw 300 more absences than normal while Trevor Browne High School saw 450 more.

The district said there were no significant staff absences.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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