San Luis Obispo is one of many cities nationwide participating in the Day Without Immigrants. Big Sky Cafe, Taqueria Santa Cruz, Novo Restaurant and Lounge and Luna Red are several downtown restaurants participating in the demonstration against current immigration policies in the United States.
The Day Without Immigrants campaign asks foreign-born people to boycott work, school and shopping in order to show the nation what it would be without immigrants.
The protest comes in response to months of comments made by President Donald Trump and his administration and recent policies that target immigrants. According to the Washington Post, 680 people were arrested in deportation raids across the nation just last week, and although 75 percent are reported to have had prior criminal convictions, the severity of crime required for deportation is unclear.
Across campus, students reacted to the boycott.
Biological sciences freshman Hannah Selfridge is all for the boycotting. The U.S. would be totally different without immigrants, she said.
“Even though [San Luis Obispo] is just one city, I support it,” Selfridge said. “I wish there were more businesses participating.”
Software engineering sophomore Rattil Chowdhory said he thinks the decision to participate is instrumental in making people aware of xenophobia.
“I’m Muslim, so when I fast, I become aware of the importance of food — how so many people can’t have it, and how many people don’t have the luxury of getting food as easily as I can,” Chowdhory said.
Chowdhory said the Day Without Immigrants is similar, only it’s shedding light on something else.
“It makes people aware of how much we take advantage of immigrants,” Chowdhory said.
Students from Murrieta Mesa High School in Riverside County visited campus Thursday and they had some thoughts on the boycott as well.
“America was built on immigrants,” Murrieta Mesa junior Josh Crisler said. “Many of us wouldn’t be here if our parents or grandparents didn’t immigrate.”
Crisler called the current immigration policies ridiculous.
“Immigrants are what make America great,” Crisler said.
Update: A previous version of this article did not include Novo Restaurant and Lounge and Luna Red as restaurants participating in the demonstration. They have been added.