Before and after his speech urging support for “common sense” immigration enforcement measures, Attorney General Jeff Sessions consumed some immigrant culture himself at Houston-area Mexican restaurants Friday.
It didn’t take long after serving Sessions, however, for Tex-Mex restaurant El Tiempo Cantina to face backlash after its owner posted a picture to Facebook Friday with a caption on how it was an “honor” to serve the attorney general, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Houston’s iconic Tex-Mex joint @ElTiempoCantina posts picture of Jeff Sessions @AGJeffSessions eating at its restaurant…. then deletes pic after backlash from angry customers. #immigration #txlege #familyseparation pic.twitter.com/vmQhtuozrg
— Miya Shay (@ABC13Miya) August 11, 2018
El Tiempo Cantina owner Roland Laurenzo responded to the social media boycott campaign that ensued with the following statement posted to the restaurant’s now-deleted Facebook:
El Tiempo does not in anyway support the practice of separating children from parents or any other practices of the government relative to immigration. The posting of a photograph of the Attorney General at one of our restaurants does not represent us supporting his positions. The secret service contacted us that a government official was coming to dinner at our establishment and his identity was not know until he walked through the door. The man came to dinner and he was served without us even thinking about the political situations. We were preoccupied with the secret service and catering to their wants and needs. The only thing on our minds was serving great food and giving great customer service. It was posted without review or approval by ownership and this has lead to everyone jumping to conclusions that somehow we are involved in this political matter. We don’t approve of anyone separating parents and children.
The Houston Chronicle reports that in addition to Facebook, it appears that El Tiempo Cantina deleted its Twitter and Instagram pages by Saturday afternoon.
Earlier in the day, Sessions also dined at Houston-area La Mexicana restaurant around 8 a.m. Friday and ordered huevos rancheros and bacon, according to the Chronicle. He was accompanied by police chief Art Acevedo and Rep. John Culberson (R-TX).
But unlike El Tiempo Cantina, La Mexicana did not publicize Sessions’ visit. Instead, La Mexicana’s general manager Zulema Gonzalez confirmed the visit to the Chronicle after a Reddit user spotted Sessions’ security detail.
Gonzalez had a similar experience to Laurenzo’s with how law enforcement approached the restaurant days before to ask about security, but the restaurant was unsure of who would be the special guest.
“I don’t know why they picked this place,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez told the Chronicle that Sessions was unsure of what to eat until Acevedo, a naturalized citizen born in Cuba, suggested ordering the huevos rancheros.
After the 90-minute breakfast concluded, Sessions headed to a news conference at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas where he reiterated his hardline stance against “sanctuary” cities.