Illegal Immigrants Could Be Offended By Restaurant Name, Activists Say: Owner Isn’t Changing It

Illegal immigrants could be offended by the name of a Mexican restaurant in Denver, Colorado, activists claim, and that alone should give the owner motivation to change it.

However, owner Pete Turner says it isn’t going to happen. Turner said he appreciated the concern shown over the name, but ultimately, it means too much to him.

“When it came to the name Illegal Pete’s, I settled on the name of a bar in a novel,” he said in comments to Fox News. “The name resonated with me for the obvious reason that my name is Pete, but of equal importance, it was my father’s name.”

The name has nothing to do with making fun of illegal immigrants and more to do with his father, who had a reputation as a “good-natured hell raiser.”

In October, local activists from Fort Collins, Colorado, comprised of CSU and Front Range students, professors, and instructors, met with Turner and shared their concerns, claiming “illegal” is “inappropriate for use when describing a person.”

Columnist Sally Kohn said as much in a story earlier this year, as reported by the Inquisitr, in which she said referring to a people as illegal immigrants was like calling African-Americans the n-word.

The group behind the meeting — We Are Not Illegal — admitted that it was “disappointed” by Turner’s refusal to change the name.

“Rather than responding to the group’s concerns, Turner chose to spend six pages enumerating the things he has done for the community and his track record as an employer, things that the group never called into question,” they wrote in a statement.

How does Turner’s Hispanic general manager at Illegal Pete’s, Milton Guevara, feel about the name?

“I’m Hispanic, and I’m very proud to be,” Guevara, told KDVR. “People come to us because they love our food… The name doesn’t mean anything.”

The company blog has been very self aware of the ongoing issue and released this statement on November 7.

“We are so thankful for all the support we’ve gotten from people across the country. But we also respect the voices of those who have differing opinions than we do. We respect all types of people and all feelings as valid; and we hope all parties will avoid adding hostility to the discussion. We can disagree, but let’s not be turds about it. Okay? This kind of conversation’s what makes a nation great. That, and burritos.”

Do you think the term “illegal immigrants” is offensive?