In light of the recent immigration raids across the country, including in Austin, two Asti employees told owner Emmett Fox that they wouldn't come into work anymore over fears of being detained, as reported by Statesman. The two unnamed women were in charge of the Hyde Park Italian restaurant's lunch service. This means no more midday meals until replacement staffers are found.
“The day Trump was elected, you could see how scared they were,” Fox told the publication. "There'd be a lot more restaurants closing," he added, if all undocumented workers had to go.
Fox said that both staffers provided the appropriate documentation when he first hired them at his
first now- restaurant, Fino, as well as South Lamar Italian spot Cantine.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order which expanded the scope of immigration enforcement. Texas congressman Joaquin Castro confirmed that raids are taking place in the state, dubbed Operation Cross Check. Spanish newspaper El Mundo shared a video of what appears to be a man detained by authorities on North Lamar and Rutland Drive on Friday, February 10. The next day, the area became the site of a protest against the raids.
Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, released a letter criticizing the raids, writing that the city "is a welcoming, inclusive community where we prioritize everyone's safety." Austin is considered one of the country’s sanctuary cities, which refuse to deport non-violent undocumented immigrants. However, President Trump is cutting federal funding to all sanctuary cities. Texas governor Greg Abbott already blocked the city's funding: $1.5 million in grants for criminal justice programs.
Given the impact of the raids on restaurants, Eater has put together a guide on restaurant employees’ rights and how restaurants should deal with the immigration raids.