If President Trump’s immigration policies have done nothing else, they have highlighted once again the role immigrants play in the United States. In protest against those policies, activists have declared today “A Day Without Immigrants,” and they are asking, as the The New York Times puts it, “foreign-born people nationwide, regardless of legal status, not to go to work or go shopping in a demonstration of the importance of their labor and consumer spending to the United States’ economy.” The Times article goes on, “Activists and groups in cities across the country have picked up the call, reposting fliers found online, and in some cases organizing demonstrations to coincide with the event.”
The restaurant industry in particular seems to be paying attention. In Washington, DC, these restaurants are closing and, in New York City, Blue Ribbon Restaurants has made the decision to close more than a half-dozen of its establishments. You can read some more coverage of the day here, here, here, and here.
Knowing both how central immigrant contributions are to the economy and culture of the United States and that immigrant workers are among the most exploited in this country, we, as a labor union, could not remain silent in the face of this call to action. While we are not suggesting that any college employee should stay home from work, we want to voice our support for the impulse behind “A Day Without Immigrants.” The United States would indeed be greatly impoverished as a nation were it not for the value they bring to our shores.