The restaurateurs are doing their part to support the grassroots movement dubbed “A Day Without Immigrants,” which asks immigrants not to go to work, open their businesses or buy any products for a full day on Feb. 16. The goal is to impress on President Donald Trump the importance of immigration.
“I’m happy about it,” said Benjamin Miller, co-owner of El Compadre and South Philly Barbacoa restaurants in Philadelphia. “[I’m] glad to see that chefs are stepping up and taking agency and using their power to advocate for people who are more vulnerable. The most we as chefs risk are fines, but these people risk losing their families. They have a lot more to lose.”
Miller’s wife and business partner, Cristina Martinez, is especially invested in the cause because she is an undocumented immigrantcurrently unable to apply for a green card, despite being married to a U.S. citizen. The couple will close El Compadre on Thursday. (Their other restaurant opens only on weekends.)