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Houston-area Mexican restaurant responds to backlash for serving Sessions, slams family separations
A Houston-area Mexican restaurant defended itself on Saturday after it served Attorney General Jeff Sessions following the attorney general's Friday speech to law enforcement agents in the city.
The restaurant faced online backlash, including a social media boycott campaign and one-star Yelp reviews, after posting to Facebook that Sessions ate there.
El Tiempo Cantina, which serves Tex-Mex, said Saturday that restaurant staff had no idea who they were serving until Sessions entered the establishment, and were preoccupied with providing service to the Secret Service agents who arrived before the attorney general.
"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 restaurant's owner, Roland Laurenzo, wrote on Facebook.
"The posting of a photograph of the Attorney General at one of our restaurants does not represent us supporting his positions," the post added. "El Tiempo does not in anyway support the practice of separating children from parents or any other practices of the government relative to immigration."
The restaurant has deleted a Facebook post including Sessions's photo, but not before many people reacted.
"What were you thinking? Serving people that support separating families, ripping children and babies from parents...being against immigrants which you benefit the most from?" posted one Yelp reviewer.
Some Trump officials, including Sessions, have faced public criticism and backlash for administering zero tolerance immigration enforcement, which mandates the prosecution of any adult suspected of illegal entry into the U.S. and resulted in separating families at the border.
Sessions ate at another Houston-area Mexican restaurant before the speech, La Mexicana, which also received criticism online.
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was followed by protesters out of a Mexican restaurant in Washington, D.C., earlier this year during the height of criticism over the Trump administration's family separation policy.
Updated at 10:14 a.m.