Are this Mexican Restaurant's 'Illegal Immigrant' T-shirts Offensive?

Are the T-shirts that Taco Cid employees in West Columbia are wearing racist or witty? Tell us what you think.

A Mexican restaurant in West Columbia, is under fire after a photo of one of its employees—wearing what some people say is a racist T-shirt—circulated the Internet over the weekend.

The photo, tweeted Sunday by Free Times reporter Corey Hutchins, shows the shirt, which reads "How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant" in white, red and green—the colors of the Mexican flag. Under the text, there's a picture of a trap with a taco as bait. The restaurant's address and contact information are listed below the image. 

All employees at the restaurant can wear the T-shirts if they want, according to the Taco Cid website, but management does not force the employees to wear the shirts. The shirts are also on sale in the store. 

After the story gained national attention early this week, Taco Cid updated its website with a response to the controversy.

"Our T-shirts were created as a witty and comical statement regarding ILLEGAL immigrants," the statement reads. "There are NO racial nor hate remarks towards any specific ethnic group. We serve EVERY individual with the same quality of service, and respect in a friendly and welcoming manner."

"As most tax paying Americans, 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," the statement continues. "Is it 'racist' to disagree with those who are not supporting the American system?"

Owner Leanne Snelgrove told WIS that she and her family saw a similar shirt during a trip to Key West and picked up the idea, but never meant to target a specific nationality. 

"We want everyone to know that illegal immigrants could be of all nationalities, so unfortunately, we just used the taco because we own a Mexican restaurant," Snelgrove told WIS. "It's nothing racial; it's nothing against nationalities."

What do you think? Are the T-shirts offensive and racist or are they witty and comical? Tell us in the comments section below!

Chris Silvas January 10, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Racism is more of a power question. Is this a racist statement. No. Is it questionable as insulting an manner to make a political point. It is. Im unclear how "tacos" under the trap refers to any one other than Latinos. If I created a shirt that said "wetback" and showed wet pilgrims in a boat, would that be nuetral? Im certain that it wouldn't be seen that way. Focussing on so called "illegal" immigrants is scapegoating - I wonder if these people are so concerned for corporations that ship jobs to every conrner of the planet but not here.
Brian January 11, 2013 at 02:48 AM
They are a taco restaurant, would it have made since for them to be able to catch someone with their fabulous tuna fish sandwiches. NO BECAUSE THEY DON'T SELL TUNA FISH SANDWHICHES...THEY SELL TACOS....
D. Porter January 11, 2013 at 04:48 PM
I called the restaurant and ordered 2 of those shirts. I hope it pisses off every border-jumping outlaw parasite in town :-)
D. Porter January 11, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Illegal immigration isn't a "race." It's a crime. Illegal aliens are not "immigrants." Immigrants arrive legally, they don't break into the country and proceed to squat and filch in violation of U.S. laws.
mexicangirly January 11, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Im confused. So they dont like mexican immigrants but have a mexican restaurant, and sell mexican tacos...its like saying I hate italians so im going to open an italian food restaurant. Stupid.
D. Porter January 11, 2013 at 07:00 PM
They apparently are fed up with illegal aliens (criminals by definition) like most other Americans. Mexican illegals are not "immigrants."
Tony Morales January 11, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Illegal immigration come from all over the world. Mexico , Russia, Asia, Central and South America but its funny how racisimn mainly concentrates on Hispanics or Latinos. This restaurant is desperate for business and they're hopping to get some business regardless of the scum they get as customers. As you can see Mr D potter order a couple shirts so their plan is working already!!
D. Porter January 11, 2013 at 07:59 PM
So citizens who want the nation rid of illegal aliens are "scum," eh? No wonder why so many Americans want the border land mined.
Ana Rodas-morales January 11, 2013 at 08:53 PM
Great point, all this people that make "Illegal immigrants" such an issue should concentrate on things that are more concerning like crazy people that go out and harm innocent kids,and school teachers, what about those white guys that like to go purchase Asian girls .
D. Porter January 11, 2013 at 09:55 PM
Say Ana Rodas-morales, are you suggesting that we should turn a blind eye to the ongoing criminal illegal ALIEN invasion and just concentrate on going after taxpaying citizens? Ha! Comrade ObaMao has been doing that since January 20, 2009. Why all the nutty distractions with you so-called "Hispanics?" Can't walk and chew gum at the same time? Apparently.
mexicangirly January 11, 2013 at 10:05 PM
its ignorant for them to make a shirt like that. Iam an american citizen and so are my parents but we are mexican decent. I find it offensive. its like saying I dont like black people,and a make a shirt that says how to catch a n...er and put a plate of chicken instead of taco! Its racist.. (Im not racist my husband is african american im just trying to prove a point). Then I open up a chicken place c'mon!
Virginia Johnson January 11, 2013 at 11:26 PM
I too found the shirt anti social and didn't care for it, But Still Legal, according to the Movie and Video Game people who believe we should be able to kill little children and women in their widely accepted games, But moving on.... I firmly believe that Illegal Immigration from anywhere is a travesty to America and has drained our Country and State of California resources beyond its limits. In California we have more problems with people of Mexican descent jumping our border so this is why I suppose the owner said that it was Mexicans and not Canadians or Asians. As to the Mexican food being served. It is Mexican-American food and tastes much different than in Mexico. Not sure if you can call it pure Mexican food.
CG January 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM
That shirt is very offensive and insensitive. Doesn't matter if you considered racism or not, the sure thing here that this shirt is OFFENSIVE. Now, D.Porter is obviously okay with it because it doesn't hit a nerve about his background. Obviously the comment of putting deadly objects at the border reflect the type of character. Maybe this person works at this restaurant?
CG January 11, 2013 at 11:38 PM
You should order another one thanking the those illegal immigrants for their hard work at the fields and other low end jobs. It should say Gracias. :)
D. Porter January 12, 2013 at 02:54 AM
How about you assimilating and shedding your "Mexicanness," eh? This ain't Mexico, and that's a good thing.
Carlos Aviles (Editor) January 12, 2013 at 05:50 AM
The comment section is to spark conversation and discussion. Patch does not allow racist, profane or inappropriate comments.
D. Porter January 12, 2013 at 06:22 AM
Oh, yes.... God forbid that any truth is posted around here. Pathetic.
Ruben January 12, 2013 at 04:08 PM
LOL, per Mr Porter comment "How about you assimilating and shedding your "Mexicanness," eh?" If people would stop making statements like that Mr Potter would you then accept my other country features (Mexico) and accept me as an American? Without me speaking a word?? I don't think so. I visualize Mr Porter being from the era where once his immigrant parents (or grandparents) went through their hardship of being accepted. Their children got to enjoy the fruits of their struggle to be accepted in this new world they came to. (And what would that have been for?) Now the ignorant child who did not experience the struggle is feeling older and does not want change in the culture he "lived" in. So Mr Porter I really do hope you did buy that t-shirt to and wear it proudly in your neighborhood. We can't stop ignorance but it can be controlled and educated.
D. Porter January 13, 2013 at 12:08 AM
The trouble with Mexicans is that Mexicans do not assimilate, got it? The other problem is that many Mexicans seem to think that they can ignore U.S. laws. "Ignorance" has nothing to do with it. By the way, maybe you open-borders nuts ought to investigate what the words "ignorant" and "ignorance" actually mean rather than comically using the terms as some sort of insult. We Americans are fully aware of what's going on with the Mexican invasion, Juan.
Verna January 13, 2013 at 07:33 AM
Oh Ruben, is there only ONE Spanish word that means legal and illegal? Because a lot of Mexican don't know the difference. I've worked with many immigrants .. NONE expect everyone to learn their language and cater to them like the Mexicans do. Mexicans who are here legally tend to at least have their children learn English, if they don't learn it themselves. We have to pay extra for Spanish speaking teachers, policemen, firemen, government employees , etc. THAT is what people are sick of. We are sick of Mexicans expecting the whole country to change for them. Now, that being said, Mexicans are white so, exactly what race are you claiming these shirts are offensive to?
Verna January 13, 2013 at 11:23 PM
The shirt says nothing about Mexican immigrants. It's about ILLEGAL immigrants. Is there not a Spanish word for ILLEGAL or what, cause you don't seen to know the difference.
I.Mari January 14, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Mexicans are not ONLY white, in fact, they're of many races, so of mix race is more accurate.
I.Mari January 14, 2013 at 05:43 AM
Mexicans, illegal or not, are indeed immigrants, the fact that they aren't native to the country makes them (immigrants by definition) clear enough D. Porter
D. Porter January 14, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Say I.Mari.... thanks for making my point about Mexicans refusing to assimilate.
D. Porter January 14, 2013 at 02:40 PM
Who cares if it's offensive or not? You payasos sure are sensitive. Comrade Obama has not yet mandated that everything should be politically correct and a crime to offend illegal aliens (criminals). I've never heard of an Irishman complain about Irish jokes.
D. Porter January 14, 2013 at 03:04 PM
Say I.Mari.... like the U.S., Mexico is home to many races. Look at Carlos Slim (Lebanese), and what about all those white anchors on Telemundo and Univision... yet Mexicans are the first to cry "racist" when Americans demand their illegals be deported. Explain that one....
Verna Seivert January 21, 2013 at 06:25 AM
@CG, so you think anyone who wants to stop criminals is racist? You people need to get separate words for legal and illegal, cause you can't tell the difference. People who are desperate enough to come here illegally, are desperate in many other ways as well. They even prey on each other. They will break the law, as shown by them coming here, and have no conscience about doing what ever it takes to get what they think they need, as also evidence by breaking into this country.
Verna Seivert January 21, 2013 at 06:28 AM
You are way off Ruben. There are SO many people in this country that have no problem with legal Mexican immigrants. They only have a problem with desperate criminals who break into this country. Even some legal Mexican immigrants, don't want illegals here. How do you explain that? Well, they know the difference between legal and illegal.That is over your head, I guess. To claim that someone is racist, because they don't want criminals here, is just avoiding the facts.
Darryl Kinney February 19, 2013 at 05:46 PM


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