Immigrant employees stay late, prep kitchen before 'Day without Immigrants'

Chef José Andrés receives the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama at a White House event in Sept. 2016

Chef José Andrés receives the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama at a White House event in Sept. 2016

The protest comes in response to President Donald Trump and his 1-month-old administration.

Immigrants made up roughly 17 percent of the District's workforce in 2013.

Shojo Boston, an Asian restaurant posted on Instagram that they were closed because "we are choosing to participate in solidarity with all immigrants as a reflection of our resolute belief in diversity". Spanish-born celebrity chef José Andrés announced that he would close five of his restaurants in and near the city after seeing the campaign's importance to his employees.

Mexican immigrant Alfredo Solis, who is the chef and owner of "Mezcalero and El Sol" said: "I have to support my team". "And we're not taking anybody's job, we're doing our job".

A number of area restaurants will either close or operate short-staffed for "Day Without Immigrants", to show solidarity with the immigrants who help the industry function. The strikes, which are meant to show how economically paralyzed communities would be without immigrants, come on the heels of several high-profile raids last week.

Among those arrested and possibly facing deportation is a young immigrant living in Seattle on the country's western coast, originally sheltered from deportation under an Obama-era law protecting young illegal immigrants brought into the country as children. On Twitter, Trump referred to the sweeps as a "crackdown".

A spokeswoman for the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis said many of its 45 businesses are owned by immigrants.

Maria Empanada restaurants in Denver and Greenwood Village, will support the protest by closing Thursday, said the eatery's Daniel Cantarovici. Trump's directive temporarily halted immigration from seven countries with a terror presence and halted America's refugee program until stricter background checks can be implemented.

Employees at a local D.C. restaurant did not want to leave their employer high and dry when they took off to take part in "A Day without Immigrants".

In the Bronx, immigrant workers at the Hunts Point Terminal Market, which supplies fresh food to much of New York City's supermarkets and restaurants, observed the strike as well, rallying outside the market in the predawn hours chanting, "Respect, respect".

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