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'Day Without Immigrants' protests being held across US

FILE - In a Monday, Feb. 6, 2017 file photo, family members who have just arrived from Syria embrace and are greeted by family who live in the United States upon their arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Organizers in cities across the U.S. are telling immigrants to miss class, miss work and not shop on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017, as a way to show the country how important they are to America's economy and way of life. "A Day Without Immigrants" actions are planned in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, Boston and Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Immigrants across the country are expected to stay home from school and work on Thursday to show how critical they are to the U.S. economy and way of life.

"A Day Without Immigrants" actions are planned in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, Houston, Chicago and New York. The protest gained momentum on social media and by word of mouth.

It comes in response to President Donald Trump, whose administration has pledged to increase the deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally. Trump campaigned on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and blamed high unemployment on immigration. As president, he's called for a ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries from coming into the U.S.

Organizers expect thousands of people to participate or show solidarity with workers.

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