Culture War

Small Taco Truck Company Bashed for Serving 'All Communities'—Including ICE Workers

The company was criticized for serving ICE employees, then criticized for apologizing.


A taco truck company has angered both liberals and conservatives by selling tacos indiscriminately to any customers willing to pay for them.

The bipartisan outrage over the sale of tacos originated after Lloyd Taco Trucks, a food truck fleet in upstate New York that also operates two restaurants, sold tacos to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) workers near a federal detention center in Batavia last Wednesday.

Several people tweeted their dismay at the company:

Lloyd then decided to denounce its own sale of food to ICE employees rather than deal with allegations that the company was biased against immigrants. In a statement, the company reiterated its support for local immigrant communities and vowed to improve "internal procedure[s] to ensure future truck stops and events align with [the] company's values." They even stated that they were going to donate the proceeds from the ICE sales to Justice for Migrant Families, an immigrant advocacy group based in New York.

However, even Lloyd's apology drew the ire of immigration activists. Jennifer Connor, the executive director of Justice for Migrant Families, the very group Lloyd had announced it was going to donate to, responded to Lloyd's statement saying, "While Lloyd's prides itself on its support of immigrants, this incident shows it can still do better," pointing out that this is "not the first time" Lloyd had reconsidered its business decisions. Lloyd had previously partnered with Uber to give away free tacos to the people of Buffalo in an effort to help the company expand to the city. This was after the ride-sharing company came under fire for continuing to ferry people to JFK International Airport in the midst of taxi cab strikes over President Donald Trump's "Muslim ban." Connor concluded her complaints with an invitation to Lloyd's management to join Justice for Migrant families in their next training session on immigrant detention. So, even an apology from the company led to further hectoring.

Meanwhile, conservatives couldn't pass up a chance to defend law enforcement. State Senator Rob Ortt (R–North Tonawanda) posted on Twitter:

Likewise, people flocked to Facebook and Twitter to express their dismay at the taco truck's willingness to bend to liberal critics. ICE itself couldn't resist taking a shot at the food truck company, accusing it of discriminating against the agency and its employees.

The backlash resulted in Pete Cimino, one of the company's co-founders, issuing yet another statement about how the company ventures "to all neighborhoods" and is "not political." Cimino insists that they "acted too quickly" in caving under criticism for serving ICE workers, reiterating that Lloyd wants to "make lunch and dinner, not policy."

It's hard to absolve Lloyd of all wrongdoing in this situation—the company did pander to one side only to renege when it didn't work out well for them—but the reactions Lloyd faced remind us that a world where every action is politicized is a tedious one where even taco purveyors must choose political sides.