Some Local Restaurants Closed For National 'Day Without Immigrants'

Posted February 17, 2017

He closed his restaurant for a day and told his immigrant employees to take the day off.

An immigrant worker strike against President Trump's executive order on immigration that started in D.C. has spread to other US cities, including NY.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned from the Facebook pages of several local restaurants and businesses, including Mesa Pizza, Boca Chica and Taco House, that employers have chose to close their doors to show support of the protest.

The protests are happening in response to last weekend's high-profile immigration-enforcement raids and President Trump's policies and pledges, including a border wall and a temporary ban on refugees and certain immigrants. All you have to do is stay at home.

Local 26 of the SEIU, a union that represents janitors, security guards and window washers, has more than 7,000 members and at least half of them are immigrants, said union representative Brahim Kone.

Thousands of immigrants are expected to participate in the "Day Without Immigrants" strike on Thursday.

"We have people that they are a part of the DNA that they are working on golf courses, maybe owned by Mr. Trump himself in restaurants and farms", Andres said. "We are proud to stand with the individuals and businesses participating in this boycott, yet immensely saddened that a protest of this nature is even a necessity", the owners wrote on the restaurant's Instagram.

Angela Fernandez with the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights told me the name behind Thursday's action comes from the movie "A Day without Mexicans".

There are estimated over 11 million undocumented immigrants living across the United States. "We are part of the fabric of New York City", says Bromberg, noting "the enormous ups and downs" that his restaurants have gone through, from the recession when "staff took pay cuts to keep businesses open" to September 11th.

And in Washington DC, Andy Shallal, who immigrated from Iraq, closed his Busboys and Poets restaurants to express solidarity to fellow immigrants. "I wanted to make sure we are in solidarity with them". We want to support immigrants.

Ten percent of all sales are going to AYUDA, an organization which focuses on supporting immigrants in the D.C., Virginia, Maryland area.