BEND, Ore. - (Updated to add Farm Bureau statement)
Many businesses and classrooms around the country were emptier than usual Thursday. Thousands of people took part in a one-day protest called Day Without Immigrants.
"We are not criminals. We're here to work,” said one demonstrator.
The protests were aimed at showing President Donald Trump and America the importance of immigrants, and the effect they have on the country on a daily basis.
"Immigrants are the engine of this country. We are the small engine that starts the big engine, without us, this country cannot fully function,” another demonstrator said.
Thousands of people marched, others held rallies, some even kept their kids out of school.
It was a much different picture in Central Oregon. NewsChannel 21 did not find any businesses closed, and school districts reported normal attendance.
Still, some residents, such as Carlos Castellon, did participate.
"I know a lot of people in general that are not going to work and staying away from the community for a day,” he said.
Castellon said the message from protesters across the country is the same.
"The immigrants want people to see and understand that they're here for a reason. They're not here because they want to be taking over anyone's land,” he said, “They're here because they have a need. They're here because they want to support their families."
Oregon Farm Bureau issued this statement about A Day Without Immigrants:
"Immigrants, migrants, and guest workers are vital contributors to the U.S. economy. Farm Bureau recognizes and honors their contributions to agriculture and other sectors. We will continue to advocate for a workable immigration policy that meets the needs of the economy; gives employers access to a legal, reliable workforce; and provides national security."