The movement to support immigrants continues to grow in Minnesota, especially in the restaurant and bar community. Recently, dozens of restaurants around the country closed for A Day Without Immigrants in a show of support and to protest Donald Trump’s ban on travel from several Muslim countries and crackdown on undocumented immigrants. This Wednesday, March 15, the fight continues, when Restaurants Rising, a fundraising effort by activism group Small Businesses United, will see several local businesses donating from 10 to 50 percent of their sales on that day to the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM), a nonprofit agency that provides legal assistance to low-income immigrants and refugees in Minnesota. The organization is in desperate need for additional financial support as it works to defend members of the community affected by Trump’s policies.
“With so many people in our community threatened by the divisive and discriminatory stance the new Trump administration has taken on immigration, many of us are looking for ways to stand up in support of Minnesota’s immigrant community,” said Danny Schwartzman, owner of Common Roots Cafe in South Minneapolis. “We’re really excited to come together to take a stand and support the ILCM because of the important work they’re doing, providing legal representation, information and advocacy for diverse immigrant communities across the state.“
“When I’m speaking with Latino and East African communities, and immigrant and refugee communities generally, it’s really important to be able to pass on the message that Minnesotans from all walks of life are supporting them, and are standing behind them,” ILCM’s Executive Director John Keller added. “It’s a powerful thing that people are coming together to push back, and it really, truly makes a difference. In terms of solidarity, in terms of support.”
Restaurants participating include Birchwood Cafe, Common Roots Cafe, Hola Arepa, Pizza Nea, Honey & Rye Bakehouse, World Street Kitchen, Milkjam Creamery, Sen Yai Sen Lek, Reverie Cafe + Bar, Butter bakery café and Gyst Fermentations Bar. Businesses are adding their names to the list daily so keep track of where to eat and shop here. In addition to restaurants, businesses like Moon Palace Books, FontLove Studio and Created to Grow are also participating.