On a ‘Day Without Immigrants,’ Workers Show Their Presence by Staying Home
It first spread on social media, rippling through immigrant communities like the opposite of fear and rumor: a call to boycott. In the New York region and around the country, many cooks, carpenters, plumbers, cleaners and grocery store owners decided to answer it and not work Thursday as part of a national “day without immigrants” in protest of the Trump administration’s policies toward them.
The protest called for immigrants, whether naturalized citizens or unauthorized, to stay home from work or school, close their businesses and abstain from shopping. People planned for it in restaurant staff meetings, on construction sites and on commuter buses, but the movement spread mostly on Facebook and via WhatsApp, the messaging service. No national group organized the action.
“It’s like the Arab Spring,” said Manuel Castro, the executive director of NICE, the New Immigrant Community Empowerment, which works primarily with Hispanic immigrant day laborers in New York. “Our members were coming to us, asking what the plan was. Frankly, it kind of came out of nowhere.”
“就像阿拉伯之春一样，”主要和纽约按天计酬的西语裔移民临时工合作的组织“新移民群体赋权”（New Immigrant Community Empowerment，简称NICE）的总干事马努埃尔·卡斯特罗(Manuel Castro)说。“我们的成员来找我们，问有什么计划。坦率地说，有点儿凭空冒出来的感觉。”
But what began as a grass-roots movement quickly reached the highest levels of federal government. In Washington, the Pentagon warned its employees that a number of its food concessions, including Sbarro’s, Starbucks and Taco Bell, were closed because immigrant employees had stayed home and that they could expect longer lines at restaurants that were open.
Restaurants, from San Francisco to Phoenix to Washington, D.C., were some of the most visible spots affected, with well-known chefs closing some of their eateries for the day in support. Rick Bayless, the Chicago chef and owner of the Frontera Grill, announced on social media that he was closing several of his restaurants “out of respect” for his staff’s vote to support the action.
从旧金山到菲尼克斯再到华盛顿特区，餐厅都是受影响最明显的地方之一。一些知名大厨让自己的部分餐厅停业一天，表示支持。芝加哥大厨、Frontera Grill餐厅的老板里克·贝利斯(Rick Bayless)在社交媒体上宣布，出于对员工支持该行动的权利的“尊重”，他名下的多家餐厅将关门。
Some schools and child-care centers across the country experienced a drop in attendance.
At KIPP Austin Comunidad, a majority-Hispanic charter school in Austin, Texas, one teacher posted on Twitter that only seven of her 26 students came to school Thursday.
在德克萨斯州奥斯汀西语裔学生占多数的特许公立学校KIPP奥斯汀地区学校(KIPP Austin Comunidad)，一位老师在Twitter上发帖称，周四当天，她的26个学生中只有7人到校。
“Some of our school buses were coming to school with two and four children on them,” said Sarah Gonzales, a second-grade bilingual teacher at the school. “Nothing like this has ever happened before.”
By the end of the day, the KIPP Austin Public Schools network executive director, Steven Epstein, said only 60 percent of students attended its 10 schools with 5,000 students. Usually the attendance rate is 98 percent or above.
到周四结束时，KIPP奥斯汀公立学校(KIPP Austin Public Schools)系统的负责人斯蒂文·爱普斯坦(Steven Epstein)说，在该系统10所学校的5000名学生中，仅60%的学生到校上课。通常，出勤率都在98%或以上。
But cities did not grind to a halt, and for most people, the action registered as an inconvenience — a longer wait for lunch, a favorite restaurant closed, a bus driver who wasn’t there.
In the Hasidic neighborhood of Borough Park, Brooklyn, some customers noticed the absence of the usual Latino immigrant employees at their local stores.
“I thought, ‘Oy, my coffee will not be as good as any day,’ but I felt, ‘good for them, they are standing up for their rights” said Rabbi Joel Labin, 34, a writer and activist who shopped at Center Fresh market. “We grew up with these stories. I hear from my grandparents the issue of immigration from Europe. I feel like it’s kind of my story, too.”
“我想，‘哎呀，我的咖啡不会像平时那么好喝了，’但我觉得，‘对他们来说是好事，他们是在捍卫自己的权利，”在中心新鲜市场(Center Fresh)采购的拉比乔尔·拉宾(Rabbi Joel Labin)说。34岁的拉宾是一名作家、活动人士。“我们是听着这些故事长大的。我会从祖父母那里听到从欧洲移民的问题。我觉得这好像也是我的故事。”
The Mexican work force, known for showing up to jobs even amid hurricanes, participated in large numbers in New York. In Sunset Park, Brooklyn, most bakeries and taquerias were closed, and a public library was crowded with parents and children they kept home from school.
The action was not limited to Hispanic immigrants: In several blocks in Brooklyn, virtually all stores were shuttered on Thursday, as part of a protest planned by Pakistani shop owners. There, an auto repair shop on Coney Island Avenue posted a handmade sign on its pulled-down metal shutter: “We Are Immigrants.”
The driver of a discount shuttle bus outside the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Sam Ahmad, originally from Egypt, said Wednesday night that he was not going to work Thursday and many members of his mosque in New Jersey would not, either. Asked why, Ahmad, 57, said, “Because that crazy guy,” he said, referring to President Donald Trump. “Because I’m Muslim and I got a lot of family here. They can get separated, and it’s not right. Our children are born here and grow up here.”
周三晚上，在港务局公交总站(Port Authority Bus Terminal)外面，一辆打折班车来自埃及的司机萨姆·艾哈迈德(Sam Ahmad)说，他周四不会上班，他所在的那座位于新泽西的清真寺的很多教众也不会去上班。被问到为什么时，57岁的艾哈迈德说，“因为那个疯子，”他指的是唐纳德·特朗普总统。“因为我是穆斯林，我有很多家人这里。他们可能会被分开，这是不对的。我们的孩子在这里出生，在这里长大。”
It did seem that in New York, at least, pockets of the nonunion construction industry were shut down.
A 28-year-old carpenter from Cuenca, Ecuador, who gave only his first name, Santiago, said in Spanish that at his construction site in Queens, a supervisor asked Wednesday whether workers were coming the next day. They were not, the workers told him.
About 500 people from several companies were employed at the site, Santiago said, including carpenters, electricians and plumbers.
The Davis Museum at Wellesley College took an innovative approach to the protest. It removed or cloaked 120 works of art that had either created by an immigrant or donated by an immigrant — about 20 percent of the museum’s display.
对于这次抗议，卫斯理学院戴维斯博物馆(Davis Museum at Wellesley College)采取了一种颇有创意的方式。120件由移民创作或捐赠的艺术品被撤下或盖住了，它们约占博物馆展品的20%。
With entire galleries shrouded in black felt and placards replacing paintings, the director of the museum, Lisa Fischman said, “I’ve been calling it an intervention, because it takes what we have and reframes it.”
The protest seemed to get less traction in downtown Boston, with a few restaurants and stores closing. Still, a number of places posted supportive messages on social media, such as one from Eataly Boston, the Italian marketplace, which shows a picture of pasta, olive oil, wine, coffee beans and other goods with the headline: “We were all imported.”