When more than a hundred Santa Monica restaurant employees opened their last paychecks they saw something extra from their boss: reassurance he will fight for them during the Trump administration.

A letter written in both English and Spanish and signed by local restaurant entrepreneur Mark Verge went out to employees at his four restaurants in Santa Monica last week: The O.P. Café, Margo’s, Ashland Hill and Arts Table as well as employees at the Shore Bar and the Ocean Park Hotel.

It begins:

“As you know, Donald Trump was elected president earlier this month. One of his top proposals is the deportation of illegal immigrants.”

Verge went on to make his own feelings clear on the issue.

“Immigrants made this county great. Immigrants made this city great. And immigrants have made this company great.”

This publication received a copy of the letter. A few days after he sent it out, the food news website “Munchies” published an editorial by Verge supporting citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

“Basically I wanted to make my employees feel comfortable,” Verge said. “We really want a path toward citizenship and I’m willing to pay for that.”

Verge had watched the election results with friends at Baltaire steakhouse in Brentwood. He was shocked by Donald Trump’s victory and then shocked again when he left the restaurant and saw the valet parking attendant was crying. Later at his hotel in Santa Monica, Verge noticed some of the maids were crying.

While many Californians felt uneasy after election night, it became clear to the entrepreneur that many service industry employees were hit particularly hard.

“I think at the end of the day we all think about ourselves first,” Verge said.

“When you’re waking up at night worried that you’re going to be deported it’s a lot harder.”

Verge began drafting the letter with the help from his general manager the day after the election. It’s the first time he’s ever written a personal note to his many employees. Verge says he just wanted to make them feel safe at work and at home and hopes more business owners take similar actions to put their workers at ease.

“I think they have to,” Verge said. “If you have a lot of Hispanic employees I would recommend it to let people know that things that they’re worried about are not going to happen and that we’re going to stand up for them.”

In the letter, Verge characterizes Trump’s campaign promises as “vague” and casts doubt that the State of California will become unfriendly toward immigrants during his administration.

“Mr. Trump is, after all, a businessman himself who has employed legal and illegal immigrants throughout his long career” Verge wrote.

During the campaign, Trump promised to round up and deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States but he has recently softened his stance, promising to focus on those who have committed crimes. He has reiterated, however, there will be no amnesty for those living here illegally.

So far employees have reacted positively toward the letter, according to Verge. While the letter was meant for employees worried about deportation, he has been surprised by the reaction from the rest of his employees who are not worried about their immigration status.

“People love it,” Verge said. “I’m impressed with the empathy. My employees who were like ‘oh my god, I never thought of it that way.’ They didn’t realize what other people are going through.”