The effects of President Trump’s immigration regulations have already begun to impact Houston, and neither family man nor longtime taxpayer are safe.
Earlier this week, Grub Street reported that the purveyor of one of the city’s most delicious taco trucks, Piro Garcia, was detained by Customs Enforcement officials and is currently set for deportation from Houston.
Garcia’s taco truck is highly rated on the Internet, and he’s been filling our hearts and stomachs since he fled the Guatemalan civil war in 1994.
Although he’s never been arrested for anything outside of his immigration status, his wife has had to step in to cover his 15-hour shifts, and community members are not optimistic about his release from custody.
Like the Garcias, father Jose Escobar and his family in Houston has also been directly impacted by President Trump’s immigration agenda; however, Escobar was actively working with immigration officials before the order to maintain his legal status.
Unfortunately, that status was lost, effectively on a technicality. When he was a child, Escobar’s mother mistakenly believed that her son’s status would be automatically included in her own renewal applications.
Since 2012, Escobar was able to secure annual, temporary work permits with immigration authorities to stay any deportations. But when he attended his regularly scheduled appointment in February, agents promptly arrested him and deported him back to El Salvador.
President Trump’s orders effectively prioritize the deportation of every person present in the U.S. illegally, no matter how long they’ve been here or how hard they’ve tried to stay compliant with the law.
But Houston, with one of the most diverse populations in the U.S., will not go quietly into the night when friends have been ripped from their families and livelihoods, many of which have been established for several years.
This is why, according to Eater Houston, a number of restaurants around town have announced their commitment of fundraising to support immigrants’ rights. They came up with a menu aptly titled Dining For Democracy. During March 8–22 at some of Houston’s best spots, diners can order from a pre-fixed menu where 15 percent of each meal will be donated to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The list of supportive restaurants is growing, but so are the sweeping effects of President Trump’s broad, fast-acting orders.