Organizers of the "National Day Without Immigrants" say they hope it highlights the contributions immigrants make to the country and the economy.
The event comes as Congress debates immigration bills proposing everything from toughened border security to the legalization of all 11 million illegal aliens in America. One of the proposals would make it a crime to be in the United States illegally or to assist illegal immigrants.
A similar demonstration is planned south of the border. "Nothing Gringo," warns the rallying cry of activists calling for a boycott of all U.S. businesses in Mexico on May 1. The campaign was promoted on Web sites and through e-mail messages, one of which warns that "people shouldn't buy anything from the interminable list of American businesses in Mexico." It also said, "that means no Dunkin' Donuts, no McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks, Sears, Krispy Kreme or Wal-Mart."