U.S. prepares for #DayWithoutImmigrants strike on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

A growing number of restaurants and other businesses are closing in solidarity with Thursday's 'Day Without Immigrants' protests in cities throughout the United States.

From the Washington Post:

The boycott calls for immigrants not to attend work, open their businesses, spend money or even send their children to school. The Washington region had the seventh-largest immigrant population in the country in 2010, with 21.8 percent of the population being foreign-born, according to a study from the Brookings Institution.

Lawmakers and Trump campaign officials seem to be doing their best to ignore the popular movement.

Celebrity chefs like Jose Andres and Rick Bayless aren't ignoring it -- they're closing their restaurants in solidarity with the largely immigrant workforce that powers the food biz and other service industries in the U.S.

From CNN:

Immigrants and supporters are planning to strike Thursday in a protest loosely organized by social media and word of mouth. The goal is to demonstrate the importance of immigrants to society, as the Trump administration continues to pursue hard-line enforcement policies that advocates fear will disrupt communities and the economy.

Restaurants in the DC area were planning to operate with short staff, offer menus in solidarity with striking immigrants and in some cases, close altogether.

Celebrity chef José Andrés, who is locked in a lawsuit with President Donald Trump for pulling his restaurant from the Trump hotel project in Washington over Trump's anti-undocumented immigrant rhetoric, announced he would close most of his restaurants Thursday as part of the protest.

The Trump International Hotel did not respond to a request for comment on its plans for Thursday.

Schools were preparing as well. A bilingual charter school in Northwest DC planned to close, and DC public schools were preparing for possible walkouts.

Similar actions have taken place in other cities. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the site of a similar protest this week, and bodegas in New York closed earlier this month in protest of Trump's travel ban executive order.

PHOTO: REUTERS