Some Chattanooga schoolchildren and workers stayed home today, some apparently worried by rumors about immigration checkpoints.
Terry Olsen, a local immigration attorney, said several of his clients told him they intended to skip work for "Day Without Immigrants," but it was more an individual response than a planned event.
Immigrants across the U.S. stayed home from work and school Thursday to demonstrate how important they are to America's economy, and many businesses closed in solidarity, in a nationwide protest called A Day Without Immigrants, the Associated Press reported.
"I had people call me and say, 'I'm going to do this,' but some were worried about employers," Olsen said. There also was a "big rumor going around of checkpoints going in and out of Chattanooga," he said. "It's been a weird day."
School district officials told the Times Free Press more than 1,700 Latino children from nine schools were absent Thursday.
Hamilton County Schools spokeswoman Amy Katcher said agreed absenteeism was up in some classes.
"We have seen an increase today in absences at our schools with larger populations of English Language Learners (ELL)," Katcher said in a statement. "We at HCDE open our doors to all children in our community. It is our goal to keep all of our children safe and to offer each and every one of them a high quality education."