There have been countless protests since Donald Trump began his presidency but it doesn’t seem like his administration is giving much notice. President Trump has launched a war on immigrants. Many of his executive orders directly affect illegal immigrants that are already here as well as any aliens that might enter the country. One such
There have been countless protests since Donald Trump began his presidency but it doesn’t seem like his administration is giving much notice. President Trump has launched a war on immigrants. Many of his executive orders directly affect illegal immigrants that are already here as well as any aliens that might enter the country. One such provision is the travel ban from seven dominantly Muslim countries and the rejection of refugees. A grassroots movement began that is trying to grab President Trump’s attention in the only arena that he seems to care about, money.
Today, hundreds maybe thousands of businesses close their doors in solidarity to show how much this country actually relies on undocumented workers. That means millions of dollars in economic turnover will be lost. #ADayWithoutImmigrants calls for participants to skip work, school, or trying to buy anything to show what the cost of shutting out all illegal immigrants.
“If hundreds of thousands of immigrants stayed home from work, New York City would shut down,” said Thanu Yakupitiyage, senior communications manager for the New York Immigration Coalition.
According to PEW Research Foundation, the industries that rely most heavily on undocumented workers are the construction and food industries. Over one million such workers each sustain those industries. Other industries include building services, landscaping and the agriculture sector. In total, PEW estimates about 8 million undocumented workers in essential sectors that keep our everyday lives running smoothly.
Critics often say those jobs could be given to citizens in need or legal residents instead. But the truth is undocumented workers often work very long hours in undesirable jobs. Many of them are paid in wages that are far lower than the average worker which these industries need in order to survive.
The industry that will be hardest hit will most likely be the food industry. Celebrity chef Mario Batali, tweeted that his Italian food purveyor Eataly and other restaurants would remain open, but he would support any workers chose not to work Thursday.
We apologize for any delay tomorrow. We are an immigrant company & support any employees participating in the strike #DayWithoutImmigrants pic.twitter.com/9lcVX21Qsr
— Eataly NYC Flatiron (@EatalyFlatiron) February 16, 2017
Other well known restaurants like Los Charritos will close entirely. Los Charritos employs over 60 workers who are either immigrants or descendants of immigrants and plan to pay them their full wages for the day. “Because of the economy right now, the last thing we should be doing is closing the business,” Arias said, “But doing what you believe in is more important than all the money in the world.”
It’s not just the food industry. Businesses in all sectors have pledged to also close their doors. Accounting & Consulting Services in Maryland has been in business for almost 20 years and employ many immigrants. “Although it is tax season and it is the busiest time of the year for us, I consider it a small cost for a big cause,” Jose Burgos, the agency’s owner said. “Sometimes, just because we sit comfortably knowing we are already permanent residents or U.S. citizens, we feel we made it to the other side and forget where we came from.”
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