If there ever was a year of “activism,” 2016-2017 were those years. We’ve seen protests for just about every issue you can think of including the Women’s March, Trump’s “Travel Ban,” and Antifa. Now, a new activism is beginning in the Restaurant industry to protect illegal aliens that work in the industry.
Cristina Martinez, an illegal immigrant who came to the United States from Mexico, is attempting to organize and create a new movement.
Now, she and her husband Ben Miller — a fellow chef who she met at that same restaurant — own South Philly Barbacoa, one of Bon Appetit’s 2016 picks for the best new restaurants in America. Together, the couple aims to mobilize the industry to advocate for the thousands of undocumented workers in food establishments across the country. The couple joins a growing movement of chefs and restaurant owners, including celebrity chef José Andrés, who have turned to political activism in light of recent threats from President Donald Trump’s administration, from deportation sweeps to an attempted travel ban and proposed border wall. Already, chefs have organized Day Without Immigrants protests, and Martinez and Miller have other actions like that set for the spring.
“Undocumented workers make the beautiful dishes that you’re eating,” Martinez told Fortune. “Let’s take an honest look at the systematic issues that criminalize so many immigrants.”
It is estimated that 1.4 million illegal aliens work in the restaurant industry according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is 1.4 million jobs that can go to low-skill AMERICAN workers. It is 1.4 million jobs that can go to teens trying to be productive and enter the workforce.
Liberals would rather not talk about that side of the story.