Immigrant community to protest El Tiempo after posting photo with Jeff Sessions

- A group of protestors are scheduled to lead a peaceful demonstration in front of El Tiempo's Navigation location Monday evening, following a controversial photo of the restaurant owner standing with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who came to dine at the popular Tex Mex establishment during his visit to Houston on Friday. 

The picture was posted to El Tiempo's social media pages during Sessions' visit to Houston on Friday with a caption that read, “We had an honor to serve Mr. Jeff sessions....Thank you for allowing us to serve you.”

The picture of Sessions with El Tiempo's owner, Roland Lorenzo, has stirred a lot of backlash online, even causing the popular restaurant group to take down all of its accounts. Some even began posting comments with the hashtag "Boycott El Tiempo."

Jessica Lorena Rangel with the Tejas Barrios, has organized Monday's protest in front of El Tiempo.  

"That’s a point of privilege saying even though you are a Latino, like the owner of this establishment, doesn’t mean that you care about what other Latinos are going through," Rangel said.

Rangel said the restaurant should have denied service to Sessions.  

"The zero tolerance policy, mass deportations he has been doing, deportations of DACA recipients as well-- people that have done nothing wrong-- then we can at least do that back and say, you know what? We’re going to make it a little harder on you to think of where you’re going to go eat because our business owners don’t want to open those doors for you," Rangel said.

Other immigrant organizations like FIEL Houston said a high-ranking official like Sessions should not be able to profit from the community in which the Trump administration has attacked in the past, through words and policies. 

"Shortly before he came to El Tiempo, he was blaming immigrants for a majority of the crimes here in the Houston area. He was calling into anti-sanctuary cities yet he was served by the same people he was attacking. So once again, you can’t have it both ways. You can’t be hypocritical about these issues," said Cesar Espinosa, Executive Director at FIEL Houston.

However, customers who eat here as frequently as once a week, said the food stands for itself, and believe politics should stay away from the dining table.   

"If you’re going to start refusing people because of their politics that means you’re aligning with someone’s politics and that just seems wrong," Donald Draughon said. 

"Everybody should be treated fairly no matter what their agendas is," Sylvia Gonzales said.

"Politics is politics, religion is religion, food is food and I’m here for food," Ray Wheeler said.

Both Laurenzo and Sessions' office declined to comment.

This is also not the first time a public official from the Trump administration has faced backlash while dining out. White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked to leave a restaurant in Virginia in June.

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