The striking red menu of José Andrés’s Jaleo, one of the D.C./metro area’s favorite restaurants, is just as bold as its creator. Andrés is one of many other restaurateurs in D.C. and Northern Virginia that chose to close their doors for the Day Without Immigrants, which occurred yesterday, February 16th. Another notable participant includes the beloved immigrant-owned and super-woke Busboys and Poets.
Of course, this event is not limited just to my region. These protests are occurring all over the country. It is not just the President’s rhetoric that is spawning these strikes. Deportation raids are happening with frightening regularity in many states, and Democrats are concerned that these raids are getting lost in the misinformation put out by the Administration, and claim that ICE is going after undocumented people without criminal records, contrary to what the President likes to assert.
I personally know of some families with undocumented loved ones in this country, and they are terrified to let their children go to school. This is happening and this is real. Protests like the ones that these high-profile restaurants encourage promote visibility for the immigrant cause – economically, to be sure, but also socially and politically.