Things That Matter

A Taco Truck Apologized For Serving ICE Employees At A Detention Center But Then Walked Back Their Apology

A popular taco truck in Buffalo, New York issued an apology to apologize for their previous apology about serving ICE workers. Lloyd Taco came under fire when they served Chorizo Mackin’ Cheese and Aztec Brownies to workers from a federal immigration detention center in Batavia. 

After outrage on social media, the truck owners apologized for serving the ICE employees. Then conservatives began a new outrage cycle accusing the regional chain of not being patriotic and disrespecting law enforcement. Lloyd Taco held a press conference to issue a second apology. 

Lloyd Taco apologizes for serving workers at a Batavia ICE detention center.

Co-owners Pete Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo posted an apology on social media, saying it was a “poor choice” to serve ICE workers and that they would donate proceeds to Justice for Migrant Families WNY. 

“Lloyd has deep ties to the immigrant and refugee communities in Buffalo,” the owners said in a statement. “There is no excuse for what happened and we have already begun to update our internal procedures to ensure future truck stops and events align with company’s values… we are donating all of the sales from yesterdays service to Justice for Migrant Families WNY.”  

However, after their apology went viral the company began to receive harsh criticism from people who support putting human beings in inhumane conditions to score political points. 

Immigrant advocates say the Batavia ICE detention center reportedly has poor conditions.

https://www.facebook.com/jfmfofwny/posts/2775770402435134

The detention center in Batavia, NY where Cimino and Dorsaneo served food is known for its horrible conditions. Justice Migrant Families WNY issued a statement about the facility. 

“People who are detained in Batavia regularly report that they receive insufficient food portions that have to be supplemented by buying food from the facility,'” Carra Statton, co-founder of Justice for Migrant Families WNY, said in a statement.

According to another comment on Facebook, Justice Migrant Families has no idea if they can expect a donation now. 

“At this point, we’re not even sure whether or not we will be receiving that donation. We haven’t heard from them since they issued their initial statement. As you know, they have now apologized for their apology,” the organization wrote

Conservatives criticize Lloyd Taco for supporting immigrants.

“Feeding working Americans who are just doing their job – Americans who specifically and with good intentions requested your product and services due to their admiration of said product and services.  And you choose to dis and turn your back on them? I’m done with Lloyds,” one person wrote in response to the apology. 

Many conservatives were quick to basically call for a boycott of the taco truck business.

“I’m sorry too that I can no longer support a business that disrespects federal employees doing their job. It’s been fun, but  I respect and support law enforcement and won’t be associated with any business who disrespects them,” another user wrote. “I respect and support law enforcement and won’t be associated with any business who disrespects them.”

ICE issues statement regarding Lloyd Taco’s apology. 

“We are doing our jobs, enforcing the laws passed by Congress.  Just like we have for many Presidents.  We will not apologize for doing this, not even to a food truck that now chooses to discriminate against us,” ICE field office director Thomas Feeley said in a statement

“The men and women who work at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility are Detention Officers, Deportation Officers, administrative support staff, Doctors, Nurses, Judges, Attorneys, and maintenance staff.  Each and every one of them is entrusted with the safety, security, and care of the detainees here.  Almost 50% of the staff are Veterans.”

Lloyd Taco apologizes for apologizing following second backlash. 

The owners held a news conference to apologize for their apology yesterday. Cimino insisted that the company was not political. 

“We make tacos, not war,” Cimino said repeatedly during the conference. “We serve all communities. We go to all neighborhoods. We are not political. Why would we be? How can any business choose sides in our politically divided country and ever hope to succeed?”

When Cimino was asked if the company would serve the facility again he said, “I don’t want to answer hypotheticals.” 

The co-owners also maintained that they were big fans of law enforcement and military personnel. Since the company’s founding in 2010, Lloyd Taco has given a 50 percent discount to all uniformed first responders and military personnel. 

“We’re big fans of the police – we’ve always been,” Cimino said.

The company said it would not choose a side in the immigration policy debate. The executive director Jennifer Connor said the group stands by its original statement — despite holding a press conference to apologize for it. 

“Our position has not changed. We are here to prioritize the needs of immigrant families in our community and in detention,” Connor said in a statement. “Though the events of the past week have drawn fire from all sides, we stand by the fact that the state of immigrant detention itself is an outrage.”

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