Westport’s Day Without Immigrants

An alert “06880” reader — and helpful mother — headed out to Chipotle today. A sick kid at home craved a burrito.

To her surprise, the fast-food chain was closed.

So she drove a couple of miles east, to Border Grille.

That locally owned place was also shut.

How weird, she thought: Two Mexican restaurants, neither serving lunch on a normal Thursday.

But when she got home and read the New York Times, she realized today was not a normal Thursday.

It was “A Day Without Immigrants.”

Border Grill was closed today.

Border Grill was closed today.

The national campaign encouraged foreign-born people nationwide — regardless of legal status — to not work or shop today. The goal is to show the importance of their labor and spending to the U.S. economy.

When she realized what was happening, the Westport burrito-seeker’s mood turned from annoyance to understanding.

“This is an important point to make,” she says. “Our town relies heavily on immigrants who work in our stores, restaurants, lawn services, home improvement projects, etc., etc., etc.”

The Westporter offered to take photos of the closed stores. She headed out again.

She reported back: Chipotle is now open. They said they were closed earlier because of “broiler problems.”

But Border Grill is still closed.

Did you notice any local businesses that were closed today? Do you support or oppose the “Day Without Immigrants” campaign? Click “Comments” to share.

35 responses to “Westport’s Day Without Immigrants

  1. Maybe if this goes on or again we should consider consider contributing $$ to help with their days loss? I would.

  2. Who is going to my lawn next summer?

    • i dont think your own needs is the issue of this day. I think the issue is to appreciate the difficulties immigrants face living in the USA. In Westport,they build our homes,paint our homes,help our family with children and domestic chores,they cook ,the shovel,they tile,and they are lawyers,drs,traders,engineers,and artists. I ask the we try to walk in their shoes. Richard Fogel of Westport.

      • That was just my little joke. One of Westport’s great assets is it’s proximity to Bridgeport with it’s large immigrant low cost population.

        • yes, I agree. Immigrants Steve Jobs father from Syria did a lot for the USA. Immigrants are doctors,attorneys,engineers,athletes,teachers,clergy.

        • one mans little joke could be highly offensive and insulting to another person. This a serious issue. people struggle and die to come to the USA. This is an inappropriate place for sarcasm directed at undermining hard working struggling people.I learned from history how the Jewish people were turned away from the USA when the boat was in the harbor. Westport is very supportive of the needs of Bridgeport. The funding of our schools haved undermined large cities for years. Westport was just named best city in Ct by Forbes magazine 2017. Westport is a caring town of many good people. So is Bridgeport.

          • Richard,

            Re boat of Jewish women and children that FDR and Joe Kennedy are said to have preferred to turn away – and when they were in sight of NY harbor, can’t imagine the anxiety of that moment – the end of the story is that they were not turned away, they were in fact very welcomed. (A few of my grandparents best friends came off those very boats, so I know the story very well).

            • Susan – Richard is correct – the of boats that were in the harbor were turned away – maybe your fathers friends were on the lucky few that were allowed to dock and come to shore. My grandfathers brother was not allowed to disembark and even though they were allowed visitors – they were not allowed to come ashore – my grandfather was born here and their parents were us citizens as well. That boat was welcomed by the Canadians, but a few were turned back to Europe.

              • god that is so sad, I am so sorry I didn’t know, i.e., I only heard about the ones that were finally allowed into the harbor (given jobs, clothes, found them a synagogue even; also non-Jews were on these same boats, though that isn’t usually included in the books that refer to this group of boats that was let in, who had to flee because they were considered sympathizers/anti-Nazi). I really get so choked up when I recall the stories I was told by the ones let in, how scared their parents were thinking they were going to come in, were told they wouldn’t be let in, but then were. We also had one set of relatives who had helped Jews escape from Berlin area, once boat emptied in NY they went back on boat returned to europe to get more, but never made it back again to NY. So upsetting when you think that all we had to do was let them in. I’m sure there was a good reason I was never told about the ones that they weren’t able to get admitted into USA (esp as a child I would not have been ok with that), Thank You for ltg me know about this. Susan Farley

      • Matthew Miller

        Do I feel illegal aliens who have criminal records should be deported? Yes, no question. Do I feel that all illegal aliens who have been here for years should be deported? No. However – I also think we should acknowledge that the USA can absolutely not send the wrong message to people outside our country. The USA cannot allow (or afford) to take in anyone who wants to come here… Of the people who are here illegally already, why are they not signing up to go through the process of becoming a citizen legally? Maybe we start with giving illegals that have been in the USA for years and have paid their fair share of taxes a faster track than anyone else.

        This issue is not black and white. I am tired of hearing both parties (but lately more from the left) argue from pure emotion, no facts or willingness to to admit that anyone outside their party is right / anyone within their party is wrong.

  3. Border Grill is out of business, go to Senior Salsa, better and less expensive than all of them. As far as immigrants go… what don’t you understand about “illegal”. No one is bashing immigrants, just lawless ones.

    • Nice Alternafact, Border Grill is not out of business.

      • Border Grill is open; I was there today. Excellent food, and great staff. I appreciate them and will give business to the businesses that stand up for what’s right. Immigrants work harder than anyone I know.

    • Of course somebody is bashing immigrants, its been pretty hard to miss.

    • Seth,

      Like you, I read The Whole EO, i.e., the only ‘undocumented’ this administration intends to deport via recent EO are those who are undocumented AND who have committed serious felony. And, ‘Serious Felony’ isn’t as ambiguous a term as most media are encouraging the public to believe either, it’s well defined (assaults, rape, drug trafficking, etc.)

      So yesterday – if it was meant to show us life without those vulnerable to deportation via recent EO – that would have just showed us undocumented who have victimized people in USA (Americans AND those who aren’t Americans but who are here ‘undocumented AND who haven’t committed serious felony’

      Instead – because those numbers wouldn’t be so high – they called all immigrants to ‘walk out’, what that’s a reflection of isn’t relevant to the recent EO, documented and undocumented u know took it more as a Labor Day celebration, a day off…a very well deserved day off.

  4. how bout lawless americans? Not stopping at stop signs. talking on cell phones driving and speeding. How bout Americans not paying correct taxes? What aboutm hedge fund managers and traders that cheaty on inside information? Look in the mirror .

  5. I kept Le Rouge closed today to support this cause.

  6. Richard, Not long ago someone asked me that question. My response – if someone breaks the law, they should expect to pay the penalty when they are caught. Isn’t that what the law and illegal means?

    • its a complicated answer. Immigrants have been in the USA economy for years. Should the American restaurant owners who hire them be arrested and put into jail? Should the Husband and wife of American families that hire illegals be put in jail for hiring them? Should the Westport builders who turn their back on their good hard work be charged with crimes.? Should large nurseries and mason companies be charged and jailed for hiring illegal immigrants? If the illegal immigrants should be charged with crimes so should every single company and or individual who employs them ne charged with a crime? The American economy would stall if every illegal immigrant was deported. You cant have it both ways. I suggest this issue be thought out carefully on fact and not emotion, Richard Fogel Westport Ct

  7. I honor the work immigrants do in our community and across the nation. It’s important to note that we also rely heavily on immigrants who work in tech fields, as scientists, doctors, lawyers, teachers, etc. and NOT just domestic/lawn workers, store clerks and in local restaurants as this post narrowly reports.

  8. If you surveyed all the nail salons in Ct and in the USA,what percentage might be American workers???

  9. Jacque O'Brien

    What happened to the “path to citizenship”?

    • Hi Jacque, First research your question. Google your question. Path to citizenship, was a democratic goal along with immigration reform. But the republicans do not approve and are very busy taking away the ACA act as the great help to the USA. There kis no replacement plan on the table . BUT PATH TO CITIZENSHIP HAS BEEN STUNTED BY THE REPUBLICAN PARY.

  10. Illegal immigrants NOT legal immigrants is what the “Republicans” are referring to. Because they are employed by those who cannot pay them legally does not make it ok for them to be here. What about those who spend hard earned money and wait and wait to come here legally……is it fair to them? You cannot have both…….so make your choice but don’t try to make excuses and say it is ok to break the law when you are not willing to follow the laws. You want a lawless country?? You want to pay for all these illegal people??? You want to pick and choose who should follow the law and those that just want their way…… It is a ridiculous conversation.

  11. Jacque O'Brien


  12. Adrian Hinojos

    Dan, I am an immigrant from Mexico. I whole-heartedly support a day without immigrants. The idea is to try to change the narrative from alternative facts (immigrants are criminals and free-loaders) to a more realistic one. In all honesty, we are very hard working people, we try to stay out of trouble (we avoid at all cost, losing green-card/work-permit, or being deported).

    There has been a lot of misinformation in regards to immigration, lies spread in bath-faith with the intention of supporting specific political causes. As an example, I will never forget his stinging words when he launched his candidacy in June of 2015: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

    And by the way, gracias Aarti por haber cerrado El Rojo.

  13. Kathryn Sirico

    Thanks Dan…..I look forward to reading.