On Monday, ThinkProgress reported about a Mexican restaurant in West Columbia, South Carolina whose employees wear T-shirts (pictured below) showing a wooden trap with tacos as bait and the caption “HOW TO CATCH AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT”.
Now, Taco Cid issued an equally offensive response on its website, flagged by the Palmetto Public Record. The eatery defended the shirts as “witty and comical,” arguing that “Taco Cid and it’s [sic] employees are not racist.” The restaurant insists that the shirts, which show a pair of tacos under a trap and singles out “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS,” contain “NO racial nor hate remarks towards any specific ethnic group.”
But it also goes on to articulate a false political argument, claiming that undocumented workers cause everyone to “pay more in taxes in support of their illegal activities.” In 2010 alone, unauthorized immigrants paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes and pump billions in purchasing power into the economy. This output and spending generates jobs and opportunity.
Taco Cid finished the rambling statement with a plea for those who are offended by its views not to come enjoy their tacos: “If you do not agree with our views on ILLEGAL immigrants, please do not visit our establishment.”
See the full statement below:
Judging by the Taco Cid’s reviews on Yelp, many people are taking the restaurant up on their plea to stay away if they don’t agree with the racist shirts. Nine of the ten reviews gave Taco Cid one star, in large part due to the shirts. “Racist shirts and the food sucks, too,” wrote Corvus S. User K.G. followed up with, “The racism’s world class! Awareness of tax policy, immigration law, and social justice is disappointing, along with an embarrassing level of self-awareness.”
The restaurant posted on its website that it will no longer advertise in the Columbia Free Times after its reporter, Corey Hutchins, first tweeted a picture of an employee wearing the racist shirt. They write that Hutchins “has acted in a reckless and slanderous way towards Taco Cid.”