Restaurants may be closed or short on staff today. Construction projects may come to a grinding halt. Hotels around the country may contend with unmade beds and understaffed restaurants. Lawns and yards may not be manicured or maintained. Fruit and vegetables may wither on the vines. Why? Throughout the country immigrants are protesting Donald Trump’s heavy-handed and under advised crackdown on immigration. The backbone of much of America’s labor force is immigrant workers – and they are feeling rightful outrage. The effect of the social media- driven protest remain unknown but the message is clear: Immigrants are a vital part of America’s economy.
A Day Without Immigrants protests are supported by many American employers. Businesses in major cities that rely heavily on immigrant workers are supporting the protests in solidarity with their workers. One employer said that his immigrant workers never miss a day of work, but he is encouraging them to do so today. Restaurants in major cities plan to shut their doors today to make a strong statement intended to show the new administration that immigrants matter.
The irony of it all is that President Trump and his son have employed immigrant and visa workers in their own businesses. Trump defended this fact, declaring that he can’t get American’s to do the work that these immigrants are grateful to have. As visa sponsors of businesses that rely on foreign workers and interns to augment their workforce and provide important diversity, we understand. Thousands of American businesses grapple with labor and talent shortages and legal immigrants and visa program participants are eager and motivated to help.
We support President Trump’s goal of strengthening the American economy and national security. But like much of the nation, we’re perplexed about actions that will cripple U.S. businesses, while appearing to have little impact on securing national safety.
AAG believes that what has always made America great is that we are a country of immigrants. Since that first group of refugees fled government tyranny many years ago, America has become one of the most powerful nations in the world. We are a land of promise, opportunity and a place that many live a dream impossible in other parts of the world.
Hopefully, the protests will send a strong message to the White House – go get the bad guys who are threatening American peace and prosperity and support those who come here to find refuge from oppressive governments, racism and bigotry.