MINNEAPOLIS - Dozens of businesses in the Twin Cities are closing up shop Thursday, and more than a thousand activists are marching in solidarity with a national protest dubbed "A Day Without Immigrants."
Using social media, organizers in cities across the U.S. are telling immigrants to miss class, miss work and not patronize businesses Thursday. Would-be customers showed up during the lunch rush only to be met by locked doors and signs explaining what "A Day Without Immigrants" is all about.
"Immigrants are such a huge part of this city and such a huge part of our cultural life, and our business life, economic life, everything," said James Everest of Minneapolis.
On its Facebook page, Mesa Pizza announced it will close its three Minneapolis locations Thursday. "Immigrants of all kinds make this country run. They have names, hopes, dreams, fears, and virtually all are so grateful to be here in the United States, a nation built on immigration," the post reads, in part.
Becky Gazca, with the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis, said maybe half of the popular market consists of immigrant-owned businesses.
"The market will be open, but we respect their right to decide to open or not," Gazca said. "This is their livelihood and a deeply personal decision for our business owners."
Sue Claude of Minneapolis is taping up her own signs with hearts on them, to show these businesses love.
"A lot of these people are people that can't afford to go a day without pay. That they know that they're being supported," Claude said.
Owners of Los Ocampo Taco also decided to keep the doors locked and lights out Thursday. Theresa Swaney with the Lake Street Council in Minneapolis says there are at least 14 businesses that plan to be closed, with more expected to follow suit.
In St. Paul, El Burrito Mercado will be closed. In a Facebook post, the owners said they want to stand in solidarity with its nearly 200 employees and families who plan to participate in the one-day protest.
Besides locking the doors to their businesses, hundreds of activists gathered at the Mexican Consulate in St. Paul for a march to the State Capitol.
"A Day Without Immigrants" was organized in response to President Donald Trump's pledge to increase deportation of immigrants living in the country illegally, building a wall along the Mexican border, and banning people from certain majority-Muslim countries from coming into the U.S. Trump has also blamed high unemployment on immigration.
Here is a list of many of the establishments that decided to close Thursday as part of the 'A day without immigrants' protest.
- Las Mojarras
- Panadería San Miguel
- La Alborada
- Mercado Central
- Mi Boleto
- La Poblanita
- Taqueria La Hacienda
- Super Mercado Morelia
- La Mexicana
- Los Ocampo
- El Nuevo Rodeo
- Gorditas el Gordo
- Merlins Rest (will not have kitchen open)
- El Chinelo Market
- Los Hornos Del Rey
- Taco Taxi
- Los Gallos (all 15 locations)
- La Loma
- World Street Kitchen and Milkjam
- Hola Arepa
- Mesa Pizza, all locations
- Sonora Grill
- Victor's 1959 Cafe
- Tinto Cocina + Cantina
- Pimento Jamaican Kitchen
- All of Hector Ruiz' restaurants, including La Fresca, Costa Blanca Bistro, Cafe Ena, and Rincon 38
- Zen Box Izakaya
- All Blue Plate Restaurants, including The Lowry, Mercury Dining Room, The Longfellow Grill, Edina Grill, The Freehouse, 3 Squares, Groveland Tap, Highland Grill, and Bottle Rocket
- Boca Chica Restaurant and Taco House
- El Burrito Mercado
- Baja Sol Tortilla Grill