Restaurants all over the country are shutting down today for “A Day Without Immigrants,” a nationwide protest against Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda.
The purpose of the strike is to show how important immigrants are to the United States and highlight how much they contribute to the economy.
According to the Department of Labor, immigrants make up 16.7% of the workforce. And the George Mason Institute found that in 2012, immigrant households contributed a net of $61 billion to state and federal income tax (after accounting for social assistance).
Immigrants make up a huge part of America’s food industry as well. Most farm workers are foreign-born, and a third of meatpacking jobs are done by immigrants. And about 10% of restaurant workers are immigrants, too.
As a result, the strike hits the food industry the hardest. Many restaurant owners have promised to shut down voluntarily in solidarity with their workers.
“First of, I am an immigrant myself,” Andy Shallal, founder of Busboys and Poets, a restaurant, bar and bookstore chain located in the D.C. area, told CNBC. “There are pivotal moments when standing on the sidelines is not an option. This is one of those moments. This is why I decided to close all Busboys and Poets locations on Thursday, Feb. 15 in solidarity with ‘A Day Without Immigrants.’ ”
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) February 14, 2017
If members of my team decide to protest I will support their decision. https://t.co/v3mjoU7p85
— Tom Colicchio (@tomcolicchio) February 15, 2017
Out of respect for r staff's vote to support Thurs's immigrant civil action, we r closing Frontera Grill, Topolobampo,Xoco & Fonda Frontera
— Rick Bayless (@Rick_Bayless) February 16, 2017
Other restaurants are remaining partially open with limited service:
In solidarity with our staff, owners Colin and Gareth will be manning the kitchen Thu serving up a limited menu for #DayWithoutImmigrants.
— Boundary Stone (@BoundaryStoneDC) February 14, 2017
And immigrant-owned businesses are shutting their doors.
— Daniel Altschuler (@altochulo) February 16, 2017
(Header image via Pexels)