Bay Area restaurant owners are joining the national debate about immigration policy. President Donald Trump’s hard-line stance on the issue has sparked the Sanctuary Restaurants Movement, which launched in early January and now counts more than 240 restaurants across the country. The Bay Area is home to about two dozen participating restaurants, including Alfred’s Steakhouse in San Francisco, Cancun Sabor Mexicano in Berkeley and Flea Street in Menlo Park, reports the SF Chronicle.
While the sanctuary restaurant label doesn’t protect immigrants from law enforcement, the classification does allow the business owners to feel better about themselves.
Another protest dubbed “A Day Without Immigrants” took place Thursday, where foreign-born workers and students stayed home to demonstrate their importance to the country’s workforce and way of life; several dozen Bay Area restaurants closed for the day in solidarity and thus felt no impact from the protest.
On the same day, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly released a statement saying ICE raids conducted the previous week had resulted in 680 arrests in various cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, Texas, and New York City. Kelly said the operations targeted individuals “who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.”