I don't know if the "organizers" of today's "Day Without an Immigrant" activities knowingly borrowed their title from the movie "A Day Without a Mexican" (see also the short film by the same director, especially the user comment at IMDB), but it appears that they do share the same self-defeating premise.
A while back, when T & I watched the movie, I was hoping for a thoughtful examination of what would happen if our crutch of cheap, illegal labor was kicked out from under us. Instead, the movie depicted the disappearance of all SoCal residents with Mexican blood, descending into pointless hysteria in reaction to a phantom bloc of bigots that hates Mexicans, legal or il-. (The movie centers around the only Mexican left, a woman whom the media turns into a freak show, and who is distraught because her continued existence is a denial of her Mexican-ness. <SPOILER?> Turns out she was adopted, but when she opens herself to her true Mexican-ness, she too vanishes. It was so touching, I almost cried, but then I realized it would be wasteful in light of our perpetual water shortage.)
Today's events display the same schizophrenia, with immigrants both legal and illegal encouraged to stay home from work/school (or not, depending on which activists you listen to), but definitely not to buy anything. So even if there is an economic impact from today (first thing this morning, I already heard an "organizer" lowering expectations in an NPR interview by saying "even if there's no economic impact, the point is we've made ourselves heard…") what am I supposed to say? "Well, immigrants, y'all got a point thar, I retract my earlier position that we should revoke green cards and recent citizenships and kick furr'ners out the country"? There is nobody, even in the furthest, xenophobic, Pat Buchanan Right, that is against Legal Immigration. Today's protests and boycotts are opposing a threadbare strawman with barely a body, not to mention a brain.
I wish somebody would produce an honest remake, "Day Without an Illegal Mexican". I wish today could have been a well-organized, fully-supported "Day Without an Illegal Immigrant". As a matter of fact, let's stretch it from a day to a week or a month, even a year! I welcome a little well-deserved economic consequence. In the spirit of prevailing relativism, the preponderance of lawbreakers is held up as a reason not to enforce the law. Well, millions of Americans (including myself) speed on the freeway on a regular basis. But by signing on the dotted line of the drivers license application, we all officially recognize that we are subject to penalties if we're caught. And if there were a massive crackdown on speeding, well guess what, I'd take my lumps, pay my fine(s), and conform my behavior to the law. If there are myriad businesses/industries who would be devastated by removal of their illegal labor, well, that's what they get for profiting from illegal labor! (Wasn't the abolition of slavery devastating to the cotton industry?)
Call me naive, but I would like the opportunity to pay fair-market price for a basket of strawberries harvested by workers getting paid a wage an American would be willing to work for, rather than a price subsidized by the exploitation of cheap, illegal labor (and while I'm being naive, I wish the U.S. would stand up for freedom and human rights, and issue a boycott against China).
Anyways, let's hear it for the true legacy of Day Without an Immigrant: Day Without Traffic Congestion.