MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — This spring, the Trump administration launched its zero-tolerance policy, forcing more than 2,000 children to be separated from their parents after illegally crossing the border.

The issue has triggered strong emotion across the nation and here in Minnesota.

On Tuesday, 25 small businesses in the Twin Cities will donate a percentage of their sales to help immigrant families along the Arizona border.

The restaurants participating in the campaign, called Restaurant Rising, will donate between 10 and 50 percent of their sales to pay for legal help for immigrants through the Florence Project in Arizona.

“Many people who come to the United States, especially the children, are fleeing violence from gang members, especially young women,” said Mike Sherwood, the owner of Pizza Nea in Northeast Minneapolis.

Many of Sherwood’s employees were born in other countries.

“I have one from Mexico City. I’ve had one from Guatemala, I have one from Ecuador,” he said.

He’s donating 25 percent of his sales Tuesday.

“For these children and adults who have no legal representation, they will go to the courts and 93 percent of them will be sent back to where they came from and that is almost certainly a death sentence for them,” he said.

Over in the Seward neighborhood of south Minneapolis, the owner of Cafe Racer Kitchen is also on board.

Owner Luis Patino moved to Minnesota from Colombia with his parents when he was a small child.

“That’s why this place is so amazing. This place really is awesome,” Patino said. “It gives you hope. It gives you dreams. The American Dream is why we are all here.”

He is donating 20 percent of his sales Tuesday.

“To think that we are preventing any individual who is hoping to have a better life, hoping to give their child a better chance to make the world a better place…that’s not the place I remember,” he Patino said.

Other restaurants participating in Restaurant Rising are Holy Land, Birchwood Cafe, Black Dog Cafe, Pizza Luce and Common Roots Cafe.

There are also a handful of other small businesses, such as bookstores, participating.

See the full list of participating restaurants below:

  1. The Florence Project is a nonprofit that provides free legal and social services to families in immigration custody in Arizona.

    This is good news.

    Great. 🙂