In a bid to protest President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies, restaurant owners across America will close for A Day Without Immigrants. This grassroots movement is asking Americans to stand in solidarity with immigrants, who have been the target of Trump’s recent executive order.
The movement is asking immigrants not to open their businesses, not to go to work, not to let their children go to school, not to buy any products, not to go to class, and not to do anything online. The goal is to let Trump realize the importance of immigrants in the United States.
Restaurateurs Are Supporting A Day Without Immigrants
Regardless of your legal status, all foreign-born immigrants currently in America are enjoined to be a part of the movement. In Washington D.C., the seat of power in America and where high-profile personalities eat in famed restaurants, several luxurious dining options will have their doors closed.
And even if they don’t close completely, business owners said they will have limited operations because some employees won’t be coming to work. They won’t be sanctioning them, however. In a report by Huffington Post, Stephen Starr and Ecuadorian-American Jose Garces said they will not fire or punish any employee who would choose to join the movement.
High-profile names in the restaurant industry are also joining the effort. Most notable of these is Jose Andres, the Spanish-born chef who went head-to-head with the President in 2015. Andres pulled out of his plans to open a restaurant in the new Trump hotel in Washington D.C.
This came after Trump made disparaging remarks against Mexican immigrants. They have since sued each other over the dispute. Andres recently announced that five of his restaurants in the D.C. area will be closed on Thursday in solidarity with the movement.
Will It Be Successful?
In Washington D.C., there are over 2,000 restaurants. This means that even if these chains of restaurants close for the day, there are still plenty of options for D.C. diners. However, given that the restaurants joining the crusade are popular, people will surely notice.
Cosecha, an immigrant advocacy group, has been working for the A Day Without Immigrants campaign. It is going to happen on May 1. Although they are not behind Thursday’s planned campaign, the organizer said they will look at this as a dry run. They are also working with the local groups promoting the movement.
There are an estimated 1.2 million undocumented immigrants working in the food preparation and serving jobs in the United States. Imagine if these workers join the A Day Without Immigrants movement. What would America look like?