OKLAHOMA CITY – As part of a national demonstration, some businesses across the city were closed Thursday as part of a one-day campaign known as 'A Day Without Immigrants.'
The closed doors were especially evident in the Latino community on the city’s south side.
Sitting in his darkened bakery, Ramiro Vasquez closed his business in an effort to open the door on what he calls a big problem.
“This is like a cancer that is kind of sleeping. But, it’s there and, right now, it’s just waking up,” he said.
He’s talking about the fear people in his community are living in.
He said some of them are afraid of being deported.
“If it happens - it’s already happening,” he said.
He’s been in the U.S. for 30 years and in business or the past 15.
He’s more worried about his customers than himself.
That’s why he sold nothing Thursday.
“I think, if we get together, our voice is going to be louder,” he said.
A car dealership down the street was also closed.
“We’ve got the right to live,” said manager Ricardo Serrato. “We’ve got the right to express ourselves. We’ve got the right to be recognized.”
Adrian Diaz stopped us in a parking lot.
He’s a nurse and took the day off.
He said he’s afraid of losing his family.
“My life is going to change if my wife has to go back to Mexico, my parents, my brothers, everyone,” he said.
The men we spoke with said they hope a solution can be found that creates a better path towards citizenship for productive immigrants.
“In Mexico, we also thought about the Americans to be nice, humanitarian, and I don’t know what’s happening right now,” Vasquez said.
“We want to show that we’re not criminals. We’re not bad people,” Diaz said.