Immigrant workers, families protest by staying home

Some businesses in Philadelphia and other cities could be short-staffed today as a result of protests planned for today. “A Day Without Immigrants” is meant to show how critical they are to the U.S. economy and the country’s way of life. Actions are planned in cities including Philadelphia, Washington, and Austin, Texas.

Organizers are asking immigrants to miss class, miss work and not patronize businesses Thursday.


Many shops are closed on W. Marshall Street in #Norristown which has become a hub for immigrant-owned businesses #diasininmigrantes

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— Katie Colaneri (@KatieColaneri) February 16, 2017


Philly Businesses To Close For ‘Day Without Immigrants’ Protest

— CBS Philly (@CBSPhilly) February 16, 2017


At Oyster House in Center City, manager says ~20 workers, incl prep cooks & bussers, are not at work. Still, customers flowing in for lunch

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Communities gathering at Thomas Paine Plaza to stand with #diasinimmigrantes #daywithoutimmigrants #not1more

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Andrea Fleegle is a manager at Oyster House in Center City where she figures about 20 prep cooks, bussers, food runners and hosts have stayed home from work.

As a result, owner Sam Mink created a limited menu at this and a second restaurant next door, Mission Taqueria. A sign on the door said the restaurants support the protest and is still paying workers who did not come in.

“The owner took a look at some of the staples that we feature, and what we could get away with, with a very limited staff in the kitchen,” Fleegle said. “A lot of our platters that are very popular, all of our fish entrées that we offer. Luckily we’re an oyster house so we can always serve raw and chilled things, but a lot of the hot prepared foods we just can’t offer today.”

Still, the limited menu didn’t seem to deter the steady stream of customers who flowed in at the start of the lunchtime rush.

The Day Without Immigrants events are a protest against President Trump’s travel ban to the U.S. for citizens from seven predominantly-Muslim nations; Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. A federal court has put the executive order on hold pending a full review.

Trump’s travel ban is part of his overall pledged to step-up deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally, build a wall along the Mexican border, and ban people from certain majority-Muslim countries from coming into the U.S. He has blamed high unemployment on immigration.

Organizers in Philadelphia say they expect hundreds of workers and families to participate. They say the action will also demonstrate the potential effect of massive immigration raids in the city.


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