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Column: Meet the TikTok star organizing ‘A Day Without Immigrants’

The protest on Feb. 14 — when immigrants won’t show up to work or school or spend money — is meant to pressure President Biden into prioritizing protecting immigrants.

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Carlos Eduardo Espina, 23, has more than 2.5 million followers on TikTok and makes videos about immigration in Spanish. He spoke to Los Angeles Times Opinion about his plans to hold a nationwide “Day Without Immigrants” this Valentine’s Day.

The protest on Feb. 14 — when immigrants won’t show up to work or school or spend money — is meant to pressure President Biden into prioritizing protecting immigrants. Thousands of immigrants from across the country have said they’re going to participate.

Espina came to the U.S. from Uruguay when he was 5 years old. Based in College Station, Texas, he started offering citizenship classes on TikTok during the COVID-19 pandemic and quickly became a social media celebrity, speaking directly to immigrants about issues that matter to them.

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