Happy new year!
Often times during a global tragedy, besides direct donation, I use my meal money in New York City to put extra cash in the hands of people that most likely have friends and family that will benefit from their remittances. As 2016 turns to 2017, we are unfortunately entering a time of uncertainty and possible ongoing tragedy for already vulnerable peoples.
I will assume most of the people that follow this page have a positive opinion of immigration and immigrants in the United States, and if not, sorry to offend. For these people enriching our country with culture and food and grace, the next president seems to be a man that wants to inflict this tragedy on them, based on his own language and promises. For me, no matter the location or situation, NO ONE IS ILLEGAL. People are not illegal. An escape from persecution is not illegal.
In New York City, we are lucky to live in a place where the chances are lower for someone to be swept up and deported, but unless you have lived with this fear, it should not be doubted even in a "sanctuary" like ours. Now more than ever, law-abiding families have more to fear and any security provided them in the form of higher income will help, however small.
There are many organizations that tackle this work everyday, and I urge you all to help them. In the meantime we all have to eat, so making the conscious decision to eat more often in restaurants owned and operated by vulnerable people is not so much a sacrifice, as a form of support and indirect protest.
Please take a look through the pages published on this website over the last eight years. Use the map feature to find good food nearby wherever you might be. No matter their specific legal status in this country, most of the people at the over 600 places written about will be dealing with these issues if not for themselves than for their family, friends, or employees. At the very least, the cultural exchange and appreciation after a wonderful meal is enough to enrich all parties involved.
Please keep reminding yourself on a daily basis that this is not normal. Stay involved, and stay aware.