You might want to check this out before you head to lunch today.
Immigrants across the tri-state area, including many working in New York City, are taking a stand in a nationwide protest today, against the Trump administration's policies towards them.
Like many recent movements of resistance, the protest spread primarily on social media; organizers called for immigrants to stay home from work and school, as well as close their businesses and refrain from shopping.
As a response, many New York City restaurants are doing their part to support the immigrant worker strike and shuttering their businesses for the day– however, it's important to note that without immigrant work, more than a few restaurants would be severely short-staffed.
Particularly, seven Blue Ribbon restaurants in the 28 year-old chain are closed– that's over 500 employees.
"This is not a casual decision," owner Eric Bromberg said to Eater NY, "But there are times in life when money isn't the most important thing."
The group's official statement elaborates, “When employees who haven’t missed a day of work in nearly 25 years come to you and ask for a day off to march against injustice, the answer is easy.”
Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, of Frankies Spuntino 457 and Prime Meats, sent a similar message of support towards the worker's strike to their staff yesterday:
"In support of our hardworking employees, who are the backbone of our businesses, we plan to close Frankies 457 Spuntino & Prime Meats tomorrow, February 16th in solidarity with the Day Without Immigrants campaign.
Both Frankies 570 Spuntino and Cafe Pedlar will remain open tomorrow with normal hours.
While closing two businesses for a day might be a sacrifice in sales, it does not come close to the sacrifices our teams have made in running our restaurants over the past decade, and we stand behind them, their families, and their loved ones." (from Eater NY)
Other NYC establishments have also chosen to remain open (with limited service), but actively support the strike, including Eataly and Lenwich. NBCNewYork prepared a map of all the businesses that are completely closed for the day.
Undoubtedly, the knee-jerk response from many will be such, "I don't have a problem with immigrants, just illegal ones," while other misguided allies on the left will avoid specifying the defense of specifically undocumented immigrants altogether.
Relevant to this conversation, specifically undocumented immigrants hold integral roles in many cities, fueling much of the restaurant industry. Regardless of your personal immigration opinions, it is an absolute fact that undocumented immigrants stimulate the economy (AND pay taxes) whenever they purchase a product.
eatblueribbon We have made the decision to close the majority of our restaurants in NYC (Blue Ribbon Brasserie, Brooklyn, Sushi, Sushi Bar & Grill, Sushi Izakaya, Hi-Bar, and Downing Street Bar) tomorrow, 2/16 in solidarity with the #ADayWithoutImmigrants protests. We stand 100% behind our employees – whether they are immigrants or born in America, back of house or front of house. When employees who haven’t missed a day of work in nearly 25 years come to you and ask for a day off to march against injustice, the answer is easy. #ImmigrantsFeedAmerica @chefjoseandres
Immigrants, undocumented, as well as naturalized, have been recently threatened; it's stupid to pretend it's not happening, but it's also disingenuous to not acknowledge the differences between them. Anyone that thinks coming into this country is simple in any way, even before this administration TBH, is not paying attention.
*trips and falls off the soap box*
Ahem. We're not news, we're just people talking on the internet– note the difference– so we're not going to pretend to be an authority about anything. Just maybe take a second today to listen to the immense number Americans supporting their neighbors.
There will always be gatekeepers that think their claim as an American is stronger than anyone else's but this nationwide strike shows that this country (and definitely this city), stands with its people.