Thousands of immigrants stayed home from work Thursday, shuttering restaurants and slowing other industries, for the national "A Day Without Immigrants" protest. Now it appears many were asked not to come back. In Oklahoma, a dozen workers at I Don't Care Bar and Grill were fired after missing work Thursday; most had been working at the restaurant since it opened, KTUL reports. "You and your family are fired," their boss said in a text message. "I hope you enjoyed your day off and you can enjoy many more. Love you." According to WLTX, 21 workers at Encore Boat Builders in South Carolina—most of them long-term employees with young kids—were fired after taking part in A Day Without Immigrants.
Meanwhile in Tennessee, 18 workers at Bradley Coatings were fired after informing their supervisors they planned to participate in the protest, NewsChannel5 reports. They say it was "unfair after working for them for so many years," especially because they were going to make up the time missed on Sunday. In a statement, Bradley Coatings says it has "always celebrated diversity and supported the immigrant community," but it "had no choice" but to fire the workers. According to WTVD, two employees at a North Carolina packing warehouse were suspended for missing work Thursday. Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, and North Carolina are right-to-work states, which means employers can terminate employees with few restrictions. (Read more immigrants stories.)