CHICAGO (CBS) — A popular Avondale eatery has won the praise of a leading immigration rights advocacy group, after joining the “sanctuary restaurant” movement.
Honey Butter Fried Chicken, at the corner of Elston Avenue and Roscoe Street, has joined more than 20 other restaurants across the country in declaring themselves “sanctuary restaurants,” by offering a safe workplace for immigrants, Muslims, or others who fear harassment in the current political environment.
Those restaurants have said they won’t allow any harassment based on immigration status, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation. They also will post signs identifying themselves as “SANCTUARY RESTAURANTS: A Place At the Table for Everyone,” and team up to exchange ideas for protecting targeted workers.
Lawrence Benito, CEO of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said all kinds of businesses are concerned about the types of policies President-elect Donald Trump has discussed, and the climate that has created.
“We’ve heard from businesses, chambers of commerce, who are concerned about their businesses, and their workers, and what the impact could potentially be to those industries,” Benito said.
Trump has proposed building a massive Mexican border wall, deporting millions of undocumented immigrants, and establishing a Muslim registry, and barring all Muslims from entering the U.S.
Organizers of the “sanctuary restaurant” movement have said at least 24 restaurants have signed on, including eateries in Illinois, Minnesota, Texas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania.
Benito said the “sanctuary restaurant” declarations are a serious response to worries about Trump’s statements.
“I definitely think the business community is going to be active on the issue of immigration, and being vigilant about what the president-elect proposes, given what’s at stake for the economy and the impact on small businesses and large industries that depend on immigrant labor,” he said.
Immigration advocates have planned a series of marches and rallies on such issues for Jan. 14 — less than a week before Trump’s inauguration — in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia, Charlotte, Washington D.C., and several other cities.