DC preps for ‘Day Without Immigrants,’ but Hill takes little notice

Image: Elvert Barnes / CC BY-SA 2.0 — Jean-Philippe Bourque / CC BY-SA 2.0

Washington, D.C. (Tal Kopan/CNN) — Washington, DC, restaurants and schools were prepared for a “Day Without Immigrants” protest Thursday, but so far, policymakers who live in the nation’s capital haven’t taken much notice.

They might around lunchtime, however. The Architect of the Capitol, which manages much of the support staff on the Hill and contracts with food services said Thursday there would be a modified schedule, and three dining options on the Hill were closed due to the demonstration.
Immigrants and supporters were planning to strike Thursday in a protest loosely organized by social media and word of mouth. The goal is to demonstrate the importance of immigrants to society, as the Trump administration continues to pursue hard-line enforcement policies that advocates fear will disrupt communities and the economy.
Restaurants in the DC area were planning to operate with short staff, offer menus in solidarity with striking immigrants and in some cases, close altogether. The actions are taking place around the country.
Celebrity chef José Andrés, who is locked in a lawsuit with President Donald Trump for pulling his restaurant from the Trump hotel project in Washington over Trump’s anti-undocumented immigrant rhetoric, announced he would close most of his restaurants Thursday as part of the protest.
The Trump International Hotel did not respond to a request for comment on its plans for Thursday.
Schools were preparing as well. A bilingual charter school in Northwest DC planned to close, and DC public schools were preparing for possible walkouts.
Similar actions have taken place in other cities. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the site of a similar protest this week, and bodegas in New York closed earlier this month in protest of Trump’s travel ban executive order.
Thursday’s planned protest is the first such event in the nation’s capital, but so far it has failed to catch the eye of the lawmakers who create the policies that the protests will target.
Outreach to many of the offices on Capitol Hill that are the most involved in immigration policy turned up little awareness of the planned protest, aside from a few word-of-mouth exchanges.
The office of the Architect of the Capitol, which oversees and contracts with thousands of Capitol support staff, did not respond to an inquiry about whether any preparations were underway or absences were anticipated.

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