Immigration Walkouts Hit Home

5-1-06 - Thousands of people across the country took off work Monday and refused to spend money, and at home businesses closed including Denison’s newest industry.

No production took place at Ruiz Foods on Monday after officials learned that many of the people who work at Ruiz planned to participate in the immigration walkouts, and the company joined dozens of businesses in Texoma in closing for the day. From Mexican restaurants in Durant to paint companies in Sherman, the doors were locked and closed signs hung in windows.

Many business owners told First News they made the choice to close last week when they learned Hispanic employees and others who support immigration rights would not come to work Monday. Others say that closing would not be a financial burden, and gave employees the option of taking off to support the right to protest.

Local economic developers say it will be hard to tell if the closings and spending boycotts will impact the economy because in areas like Sherman, the sales tax is already on the rise.

Part of the economic protest included boycotting schools. Denison and Sherman Districts reported slightly higher absence records than usual. Durant ISD says attendance was average.