Customer Threatens to Call ICE on Spanish-Speaking Restaurant Staff

A man was caught on video recently in a racist and abusive tirade against restaurant employees speaking Spanish.

At one point, he threatened to contact Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He said he would call ICE despite no apparent evidence they had done anything wrong. The profane rant included his belief that individuals in America should not speak Spanish.

Setting the Scene

The video was reportedly recorded at about noon on Tuesday at Fresh Kitchen, an eatery in New York City. For a solid minute, he can be heard belittling and demeaning the staff for not speaking English.

Here's what he said:

“Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English,” the man said.

He went on to point out several specific employees he heard speaking Spanish.

“It’s America,” he added.

He then made apparently unverified claims about the employees’ immigration status. He threatened to call ICE after continuing to berate multiple individuals. 

"My guess is they're undocumented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them taken out of my country," he said.

Another customer's perspective:

Reporters spoke to Emily Serrano, a frequent patron at the Fresh Kitchen. She and her friend were there on the day of the man’s outburst. According to her account, they ordered in Spanish -- as did the party in front of them. This appeared to anger the man featured in the video, Serrano said.

The two customers can be heard on the video denouncing the man’s behavior. They referred to him as “ignorant” during his rant. Before storming out of the restaurant, the man reportedly made a derogatory remark about Serrano’s appearance.

Making it public.

Serrano said her friend’s husband initially uploaded the video. In short order, Facebook users began sharing it. There were a few outliers who seemed to sympathize with his views. But the general consensus was that he deserved the social media shame he has received this week. Watch the original video and see the Facebook comments here.

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