Employees of a Peruvian chicken restaurant in Frederick will participate in a nationwide boycott Thursday intended to show solidarity with immigrants.
Sardi’s on McCain Drive off U.S. 40 in west Frederick will remain closed as part of “A Day Without Immigrants.”
The boycott of work, school and business is intended to highlight the crucial role immigrants play in the country’s economy and day-to-day life. Formal actions have been planned in major cities including Philadelphia, Washington, and Austin, Texas.
All 10 area restaurants owned by Sardi’s Corp. will be closed Thursday, according to Angel Guzman, the corporation’s district manager. Guzman framed the decision as one made jointly among employees, supervisors and company owners, who are sons of immigrants.
Guzman emphasized that the closings were not a political statement, but one of solidarity with immigrants.
About 80 percent of the company’s more than 270 employees are immigrants, according to Guzman. The Frederick Sardi’s has 16 employees, according to Luis Diaz, general manager of the Frederick location.
Diaz, a native of El Salvador who immigrated to the United States 24 years ago, said his children will not attend school and his family will avoid shopping as part of the boycott.
“We’re making a stand,” he said. “We want to show that the Spanish, the immigrant community is a powerful force in the area, in the country.”
Several Sardi’s suppliers have also indicated they will be closed Thursday, according to Diaz. He did not know if other Frederick businesses planned to participate.
The boycott follows President Donald Trump’s pledge to strengthen enforcement against illegal immigration, including to build a wall along the Mexican border, deport immigrants who do not have legal documentation and ban people from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.