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Many Hispanic businesses to close Monday

Becky Bosshart
Appeal Staff Writer
Photo Illustration by Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal Alma Meza, 20, a worker for El Mundo Latino, turns off the "Open" sign Friday night to illustrate the Hispanic businesses that will close their stores to show opposition to proposed federal anti-illegal immigration legislation.
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Some Hispanic businesses in Carson City will close Monday to show opposition to proposed federal legislation that makes illegal immigrants felons. To show Northern Nevada the importance of the immigrant community, some workers said they will stay home from work and boycott all consumer goods.

Those who shop at Hispanic businesses along Highway 50 East will find locked doors, even though local Latino organizations have encouraged immigrants to go to work. One Wal-Mart employee said she’s not working Monday, and other immigrant co-workers are also staying home in protest.

About 200 area residents are expected to attend a march 5 p.m. Monday from Hispanic Services, 637 S. Stewart St., to the Legislature.

Patricia Vargas, manager at El Mundo Latino, said the owners will close the store Monday to demonstrate that they are against the House Resolution passed in December.

The legislation calls for tougher penalties against businesses that hire illegal immigrants and more border security. The Senate immigration reform bill is still stalled.

“We’re closing and we’re going to be at the march,” Vargas said Friday at the 910 William St. store.

The march is sponsored by the Latino Americana Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Services, Latino Parents Committee and Lulac, a national Latino organization. Word spread via Spanish television to not purchase anything that day.

“The economy is going to go down without us,” said Alma Meza, an employee at El Mundo Latino.

Leticia Servin, president of Latino Parents Committee of Carson City, said the marchers will wear white shirts to symbolize peace and will carry candles. Those who attend will be educated about the immigration reform legislation.

“If it doesn’t make an impact it will be a wake-up call,” Servin said. “It will show that Hispanics do contribute a lot.”

Estella Salas, manager of Dos Amigos Meat Market, is shuttering the 1621 Highway 50 E. store – but she’s sending her children to school.

Anna Ramirez, of Carson City, isn’t showing up for her Monday shift at Wal-Mart, and she says she’s not the only one.

“I told (the manager) that I’m not going to go,” she said after shopping at Dos Amigos. “He probably thinks it’s all right because he is a really nice person and he knows I work hard.”

Wal-Mart store manager Scott Yoder said he will keep extra employees on call, but he hasn’t heard that there will be any Hispanic employees absent.

Some business owners were still deciding Friday if they would close, such as Taqueria la Salsa and Video Centro La Fortuna Meat Market, both on Highway 50 East.

Others are still working, and wishing for an improvement in immigration law.

“I wish (the federal government) would decide to do something about it,” said Maria Enriquez, who runs Angelina’s House Cleaning in Dayton. “There’s a lot of people already here. If they are good people and good workers and are doing nothing bad and following U.S. rules I don’t see why not.”

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.