A South Carolina Mexican restaurant is defending itself against accusations of racism for selling a t-shirt that describes “how to catch an illegal immigrant” using two tacos and a trap.
Taco Cid, in West Columbia, says the shirts are “comical” and a reasonable political statement about immigration policy in the United States.
The shirts read “how to catch an illegal immigrant” and then a cartoon shows two tacos under a box with a cord, similar to a mousetrap. An employee wearing the shirt caught the eye of a reporter for the Columbia Free Times, who tweeted a picture on Sunday saying the message was “stirring controversy.”
Minority rights groups have slammed the message as insensitive and as a ploy to drum up business.
“Of course it’s offensive. It’s meant to be,” Lisa Navarrete, Advisor to the President, NCLR (National Council of La Raza) told Fox News Latino.
“This is simply a failing business trolling for attention… We would recommend people not patronize this place. Sure, because of this insult but really due to the fact that a restaurant this clueless about the Latino community can’t possibly make a decent taco.”
For its part, Taco Cid said it has gotten calls from all over the country from people wanting to buy the $35 shirt.
It also said the message, and the taco imagery, wasn’t aimed at any one ethnic group.
“Our t-shirts were created as a witty and comical statement regarding ILLEGAL immigrants. There are NO racial nor hate remarks towards any specific ethnic group,” Taco Cid says on its website.
“We do believe ILLEGAL immigrants are burdening the system we support and live under, thereby, causing us to work harder and pay higher taxes to support the illegal activities, which our government has simply chosen to look the other way. Is it “racist” to disagree with those who are not supporting the American system?”