Businesses close for ‘Day Without Immigrants’ protest

NORFOLK (AP) —A restaurant owner here said on Thursday he’d be standing with his employees and thousands like them across the country, shutting down his two venues as part of the “Day Without Immigrants” protest.

Jorge Romero, who owns Jessy’s Tienda y Taqueria and Jessy’s Taco Bistro, said about 60 percent of his employees are immigrants, including workers from Mexico and India.

A sign hangs outside the closed Marco’s Fish Market Thursday in south Philadelphia’s Italian Market. Immigrants across the country were expected to stay home from school and work to show how critical they are to the U.S. economy and way of life. (AP Photo/Jacqueline Larma)

Romero was joining in a nationwide protest against President Donald Trump, whose administration has pledged to increase the deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally.

Movement supporters in Washington, D.C., blocked intersections Thursday afternoon and marched toward the White House. They carried signs saying “No human is illegal” and “Do you eat food? Then you need immigrants.” Similar demonstrations occurred in Detroit, Chicago, New York and other cities.

Romero said he and his staff would undoubtedly take a financial hit, but he hopes it contributes to a noticeable dip in income tax revenue across the nation. Across the country, immigrants were planning to stay home from school and work to show how critical they are to the American economy.

Financial impact aside, Romero said the protests could simply be a show of unity. He added that President Trump’s policies seem to be a “persecution of anybody who does not quote-un-quote belong here.”

The 34-year-old Romero was born in Texas and grew up in Mexico City and eastern North Carolina.