Business back to normal following day of protests

| 5/2/2006

Business returned to normal for ports and other businesses across the country following a day of immigrant protests on Monday, May 1.

The Associated Press estimated that about 1.1 million people participated in marches, demonstrations and rallies throughout the country – with the biggest crowds gathering in Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.

The port complex of Los Angeles and Long Beach saw almost no truck activity on May 1, but managed to stay open anyway. Theresa Adams Lopez, spokeswoman for the port, told “Land Line Now” that the trucks were back in business on Tuesday, May 2.

The so-called “Day Without Immigrants” was organized primarily by Hispanic groups to protest proposed legislation that would make being an illegal immigrant – or hiring an illegal immigrant – a felony crime.

Several businesses, including Goya Foods, Tyson Foods and Cargill Inc., closed down some operations on May 1 and allowed their Hispanic workers to take the day off without Penalty, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Goya had suspended deliveries everywhere in the U.S. except Florida in a show of solidarity, according to The AP. The protest also shut down 29 branches of Chipotle Mexican Grill, a Denver-based restaurant chain owned by McDonald’s.

The actual cost of the protest to the U.S. economy remains a subject of debate. The AP reported that, while some businesses suffered minor setbacks, most were prepared for the walkout and were back to normal on Tuesday.

One industry that was hit hard was the construction industry in Florida, The AP reported. More than half of the workers at construction sites in Miami-Dade County did not report to work.