ROCKY MOUNT, NC (WECT) - Families in southeastern North Carolina joined other Latinos across the nation Thursday in the "Day Without Immigrants" protest.
Israel and Iliana Fraile did not go to work Thursday and kept their 5-year-old son, Anthony, home from school.
"It sucks to say that we have to do stuff like this just so we could be heard," said Israel. His wife works at Taqueria Durango, one of several businesses that closed as a result of the protest.
Israel works at a construction company and said what they wanted to accomplish was worth one less day of pay.
"Hopefully this, just doing what we are doing today hopefully it could change some hearts," said Israel.
The family had high hopes for their protest. They said they wanted people to realize their importance to this country. A realization Israel said has lacked at times.
"I've walked down the street, I've had people turn to me and say 'Go back to Mexico.' I was born in Chicago," he said.
Israel calls these comments ignorance and says he hears them too often.
"We are not rapists, I'm not a gang member, she's not a prostitute," said Israel, pointing at his wife. "We are a husband and wife, a family."
A family that tried to stay invisible Thursday in hopes for a better tomorrow for their son.
"I'm hoping that he could take this as a life lesson to know that never let anyone push you down because of where you come from or the color of your skin."