Photo via Fibonacci Blue/Flickr (CC-BY)
Thousands of immigrants in states throughout the country are expected to go on a national strike on Thursday in protest of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration laws and sentiment—including his plan to build a wall on the Mexican border, his now-suspended travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries, and his campaign promise to "crackdown" on immigrants, which may have led to more than 600 arrests last weekend.
The Washington Post reports that the “Day Without Immigrants” strike has largely been organized through word of mouth, fliers, and across Latinx social media channels. With this demonstration—which discourages working, shopping, restaurant dining, gasoline purchase, and school attendance—participants hope to show the president how essential immigrants are to the everyday functioning of America.
In Washington, D.C., several restaurants, businesses, and charter schools are already prepared to give workers paid leave for the day, or not open at all, knowing most of their staff and students will be protesting. Twenty businesses in Philadelphia have pledged to join the strike as well, according to advocacy group Coalicion Fortaleza Latina, agreeing to post signs on their doors to explain why they’re closed.
In the Twin Cities, Minnesota, Mesa Pizza, amongst other popular eateries, announced via Facebook it will be closing all three of its locations for the Thursday strike, stating, “Immigrants of all kinds make this country run…” In Colorado, its restaurant association released a memo reiterating its support of immigration reform and reminding restaurants that employees have the right to protest. “We don’t advise that you discipline employees on top of that,” it read, according to Westword.
On Monday, a similar “Day Without Latinos” protest drew thousands in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.