Remember when Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was harassed by loud protesters in a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C.? The mantra from #TheResistance is that no member of the Trump administration – or their supporters, for that matter – are to be allowed to go about normal human activities like having a meal in a restaurant. Any public sighting must bring an immediate and aggressive protest. And, it’s all in the ironic exercise of calling President Trump and his team Nazis.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions traveled to Houston Friday to deliver a speech at the office of the U.S. Attorney and the purpose of the speech was to lay out his goals for combatting violent crime. The speech was closed to the public. Thursday Sessions spoke in Georgia.
On Thursday, he spoke in Georgia about restoring the morale of federal officers, providing support for crime victims and bringing back tougher sentencing laws he said were depleted by a recent Supreme Court decision. He also touched on his concern about public attitudes toward law enforcement officers.
Friday morning he was scheduled to speak in Houston so he began the day as you might expect. The day began with a delicious breakfast of huevos rancho and bacon at La Mexicana. You know, like regular people do. Note the tweet from a local reporter that the typical conflation between illegal and legal immigration is in play.
NEW: AG Jeff Sessions ate breakfast at Houston mainstay La Mexicana before speech decrying unfettered immigration https://t.co/U77e31bSx7
— St. John Barned-Smith ⚔️ (@stjbs) August 10, 2018
How dare the U.S. Attorney General speak against “unfettered” illegal immigration during his speech! Wouldn’t you expect the top law enforcement officer in America – at least during a Republican administration – to condone enforcing existing laws?
Anyway, it is not an unusual move for a visiting law enforcement dignitary to have breakfast with the Chief of Police. Lots of visiting politicians and public figures eat at this restaurant. Visitors usually want to eat Tex-Mex or more authentic Mexican dishes in Houston. It is not unusual for politicians and other high profile people to visit La Mexicana, including a recent visit by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Zulema Gonzales, La Mexicana’s general manager, said law enforcement first approached the restaurant days ago with questions about security.
The restaurant was happy to accommodate officials’ security concerns but didn’t know until today who would be eating there, she said.
Sessions and his entourage arrived around 8 a.m. in advance of a news conference at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, and had breakfast with Police Chief Art Acevedo and U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston.
Gonzales said Sessions wasn’t sure what to eat — and picked the huevos rancheros at the suggestion of Acevedo, a naturalized citizen born in Cuba who spent his early career in Los Angeles and then served as chief of police in Austin — two cities known for their array of great Mexican food.
Full disclosure: Rep. Culberson represents my district.
Chief Acevedo later said that the conversation with Sessions was a “great discussion.” Acevedo is well-known in Houston for unofficially treating the city as a sanctuary city (wink, wink) and often participating in anti-gun rallies.
Acevedo, who has frequently criticized President Donald Trump’s crackdowns on immigration, said he and Sessions had a “great discussion,” with “many points of agreement and disagreement.”
“We will never apologize for working with Homeland Security Investigations going after violent gang members,” he said, referring to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s investigative arm focused on investigations of dangerous criminals. “But if they’re going to ask us to help round up day laborers or kitchen help, we’re not interested in that, and he understands that.”
By the time dinner rolled around, Sessions again chose Mexican food for his meal. This time it was near-by El Tiempo, also a very well-known restaurant with a history in Houston. The owner posted a picture of himself and Sessions on the restaurant’s Facebook page and that’s when all hell broke loose.
On Friday, owner Roland Laurenzo posted a photo with a caption saying it was an “honor” to serve Sessions, who was in town to discuss immigration enforcement with law enforcement officers. The post was quickly condemned by customers, some of whom called for a boycott.
The keyboard warriors went to work and started in with the expected #BoycottElTiempo campaign. Mr. Laurenzo did the usual backtracking to appease the protesters.
Laurenzo soon after responded, writing that the photo “does not represent us supporting (Sessions’) positions.”
“El Tiempo does not in anyway support the practice of separating children from parents or any other practices of the government relative to immigration,” Laurenzo wrote, according to CultureMap. “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 angry blowback has been substantial enough that El Tiempo’s social media pages have been shut down. The restaurant is off Twitter and Facebook as of now. This is what the angry left does – demand the riddance of anyone not carrying the water for those wanting open borders and no respect for law enforcement.
The angry protesters like to pretend it is particularly egregious that Sessions (or Nielsen before him) dared to choose Mexican restaurants for meals. HOW DARE THEY TALK ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND THEN GO EAT MEXICAN FOOD! The truth is it doesn’t matter what restaurant is chosen – Press Secretary Sanders chose an establishment in Virginia specializing in fresh farm-to-table American cuisine when she was bullied into leaving a restaurant in June. Former EPA Secretary Pruitt was harassed in a deli. The angry losers of the last presidential election are determined to be aggressively intolerant of anyone working for President Trump.
— Trendsmap Houston (@TrendsHouston) August 11, 2018
The Laurenzo family were Trump supporters in 2016. Of the deactivating of the social media accounts, the owner of El Tiempo told a local news station that he isn’t going to have his family insulted.
“People are insulting us in such a dramatic fashion, and we feel like we don’t deserve it,” El Tiempo Cantina owner Roland Laurenzo tells ABC13. “At least temporarily I had it taken down because I don’t want to be insulted, my children to be insulted, my family to be insulted.”
The angry leftists want a lesson to be learned from all this. If a Trump administration member dines at a local establishment, no matter where it is, don’t publicize the visit on social media. Keep it low key as La Mexicana did. The breakfast at La Mexicana would have gone unnoticed except a local Reddit user noticed the security detail stationed outside the restaurant and wrote about it. The general manager simply said the restaurant treats all its customers with respect.
What the protesters still haven’t figured out is that businesses are most concerned with the bottom line. Without the sales, the business ceases to exist and jobs are lost. In any town or city and especially in a very large city like Houston, the population doesn’t hold only one political ideology. Houston is a liberal city but the county is purple. Texas went for Trump in 2016 against Hillary Clinton. Texas is the largest red state in America. A Republican presidential candidate can’t win the general election without Texas. Many Latino voters are conservative whether they are open about that or not. The legal immigrants expect other immigrants to do it legally, too. That fact is most often overlooked in the open borders crowd. Why would any business want to automatically exclude a large percentage of potential customers with political purity tests? It simply doesn’t make sense.
It’s a shame the owner of El Tiempo felt he had to apologize for being proud of a high-level guest in his establishment. The intolerant left has new rules of behavior in Trump’s America. I hope they remember that when the next Democrat is elected president.