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Restaurants across U.S. close Thursday in support of “A Day Without Immigrants”

A restaurant in Washington, D.C. announces it will be closed Thursday in solidarity with "A Day Without Immigrants." (Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Thursday’s “A Day Without Immigrants” is many things—a business boycott, a one-day strike, rallies in cities across the U.S.—but it’s all meant to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policy and to demonstrate how the nation’s economic engine slows to a crawl without immigrant labor. However, where it’ll be most closely felt may be in restaurants, an industry reliant on immigrants both legal and undocumented to perform the duties many privileged Americans wouldn’t touch, from dishwashing to bussing tables and cleaning bathrooms.

A number of high-profile restaurants across the country have decided to close Thursday in solidarity with the movement. In Washington, D.C., chef Jose Andres (himself in a legal battle with Trump) will be shuttering all five of his restaurants for the day. Rick Bayless, the chef and proprietor of a number of popular Mexican restaurants in Chicago, will be closing four of his establishments Thursday.


In addition, restaurants and grocers in Philadelphia, Portland, Austin, Baltimore, the Twin Cities, Detroit, San Francisco, and most major cities in the U.S. will either be shuttered for the day, or will donate proceeds towards immigration and refugee rights causes.

And it’s not just high-end restaurants too:


Students in immigrant-heavy population centers are also expected to walk out of classes. As the Los Angeles Times noted:

Activists are encouraging immigrants to skip work, avoid shopping and otherwise withdraw from the economy for a day to make clear the roles they play in American society.


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