Immigrants across the country are staying home from school and work on Thursday to show how critical they are to the U.S. economy and way of life.
“A Day Without Immigrants” actions are planned in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, Boston, Houston, Chicago and New York. The protest gained momentum on social media and by word of mouth.
It comes in response to President Donald Trump, whose administration has pledged to increase the deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally. Trump campaigned on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, and blamed high unemployment on immigration. As president, he’s called for a ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries from coming into the U.S.
Popular Washington D.C. restaurant chain Busboys and Poets is joining with the many businesses in that city and nationwide in support of the strike.
— Busboys and Poets (@busboysandpoets) February 15, 2017
Shallal told the Washington Post that the closures would be a “huge financial hit” but that the action was an important thing to do.”
Chef Jose Andres, a restaurateur and entrepreneur closed his Washington D.C. restaurants for the day saying he wanted to stand in solidarity with the immigrant community.“We are all one,” he told USA Today. “We should not be fighting among each other, we should all be working together to keep moving the country forward.”
A supporter holds up a placard during a rally for Jeanette Vizguerra, a Mexican woman seeking to avoid deportation from the United States. AP / David Zalubowski