As a result of the Day Without Immigrants, many more Americans are certainly aware of the massive numbers of illegal immigrants in our midst, demanding their rights. I'm not sure this strategy works for them. "A little more humility, please" the newsstand guy suggested. "They come to this country illegally and then they are going to tell us what to do?"
Economists say the "economic shutdown" impact was mostly symbolic. Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Service, told Reuters that the Day Without Immigrants was "unlikely to have a measurable impact" on business even for this month. A few regional industries felt it (agribusiness in Southern California, for example). But by and large the neighborhoods that were "shut down" on Monday were mostly the illegal immigrants' own neighborhoods.
Overall, what the Day Without Immigrants reveals is this: We Americans love hardworking immigrants. America is still a nation of immigrants. But America is not a nation that depends on low-skill immigrant workers for our prosperity. In truth, they need us more than we need them.
Secure the borders first, and Americans will find a way to help our hardworking immigrant neighbors long settled in this country. Trust our national soul, Mr. President.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.