A Houston Tex-Mex restaurant owner says he’s been getting death threats since posing for a photo with Attorney General Jeff Sessions who dined at his place on Friday while in town.
The Daily Mail says that El Tiempo Cantina’s co-owner, Dominic Laurenzo, is facing a lot of backlash based on Sessions’ views on immigration. The restaurant has a mostly Hispanic staff, and posing for the picture was seen as disrespectful.
Laurenzo’s Restaurant’s President Roland Laurenzo said that in retrospect it was a mistake, but that it certainly wasn’t an endorsement of Trump’s immigration policies.
“In retrospect, it was a mistake because it angered so many people. We have gotten so many complaints and comments. And threats, death threats. This has been extremely shocking to our family.”
The restaurant has since taken down all of its social media accounts.
“The last thing I ever wanted to do was to upset everybody. It didn’t dawn on me until after that everyone was associating me with approving of the politics of Mr. Sessions and by no means is that the case. It’s been a big misunderstanding.”
The Yelp account for the restaurant exploded after the picture with Sessions was posted.
— tuviaf (@tuviaf) August 13, 2018
One reviewer stated that the restaurant employs mostly Hispanic staff.
“Their staff, mostly Hispanic, is SUPER sweet and hard working. What a slap in the face for them.”
Roland added that the restaurant does not support many of Sessions’ policies even beyond immigration, including what they say is his anti-gay stance.
Another reviewer added on Yelp that the food is great, but they would think twice before eating there again because of the Sessions photo.
“Great food – indeed, Tex-Mex the way it should be done.’ However, he added, ‘But I seem to no longer have an appetite for their food knowing that they support a racist government that supports separating families who are simply seeking a safe, better way of life.”
Houston activist Cesar Espinosa said that it is hypocritical that so many businesses hire illegals and then support Trump policies.
“A lot of these restaurants hire undocumented people, they hire immigrants to work, to take these long shifts, to serve people with a smile on their face, and you have this man, Jeff Sessions, who, consequentially, before visiting El Tiempo, blamed a lot of the U.S. crime, a lot of the U.S. ills on immigrants. So you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be hypocritical and say, ‘I don’t like immigrants but I like what they contribute to the U.S. through their food and their culture.”
Jeff Sessions has not commented on this matter.