'Day Without Immigrants' protest closes restaurants across the US

Businesses across the US closed on Thursday for the "Day Without Immigrants" protest, a spontaneous boycott to President Donald Trump's immigration policies that has been supported by businessmen and neighbors in many parts of the country.

A large number of construction companies, restaurants, child care services or supermarkets closed today to demonstrate to Trump that without immigrant labor the United States would be paralyzed and its private communities an integral part of their daily lives.

Immigrants in cities such as Washington, Boston, Philadelphia or Los Angeles didn't show up at work, refused to buy or take public transportation, to prove how important they are for the US economy.

In Washington, immigrants from around the world joined a spontaneously-launched strike to protest against Trump's measures addressed to end the so-called "sanctuary cities", accelerate deportations of undocumented workers and ban the entry of refugees, reported EFE.

Some supermarkets hung the "closed by general strike" sign at theh doors, while schools today received massive calls from parents reporting that their children (born or educated in the United States but of immigrant roots) were ill and would not attend school .

The famous Spanish chef José Andrés decided to close most of its restaurants today in the metropolitan area of ​​Washington. "In solidarity with the many immigrants in our staff who have been eager to participate in the Day without Immigrants, ThinkFoodGroup will close most of its restaurants in the Washington area," Jose Andrés said in a statement, as quoted in EFE.

In Philadelphia, several shops, beauty salons and restaurants hung the "No Abrimos" (We are not open") signs at the door. Among the local businesses that embraced the protest is Mission Taquería, Sampan and Graffitti Bar, in the city center. 

Chris Alonzo, owner of Pietro Mushrooms in Kennett Square and chairman of the Chester County Agricultural Development Council, said one-fourth of his 60-person staff did not come to work Thursday morning. At some farms in and around Kennett, he said, as much as 80 percent of the workforce was missing -- absences that affected “truck drivers, people who apply water, pickers, every job needed for any agricultural operation, ” as reported in The Inquirer.

Since the end of 2007, the number of foreign-born workers employed in the United States has climbed by nearly 3.1 million to 25.9 million, according to the Labor Department. They account for about 16 percent of the workforce.



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Friday, February 17, 2017 - 5:00am
On Thursday, "Day Without Immigrants" protest closed restaurants across the US. In the photo, a group of Latino immigrants demonstrated in Washington DC yesterday against Trump immigration raids. EFE