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Taco truck serves ICE detention center employees, then apologizes for it

Posted at 4:16 PM, Oct 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-29 21:19:29-04

The co-founders of Lloyd Taco Truck held a news conference Monday morning to address the recent controversy surrounding one truck serving lunch at the ICE detention center in Batavia, New York.

On Friday, the Lloyd account posted on social media after serving lunch at a federal detention facility in Batavia that includes offices for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The post explained that the company thought that business decision was a "poor choice," and that it was not proud of serving lunch at the facility because Lloyd has close ties to immigration services throughout Western New York.

The post was picked up quickly on social media, and generated thousands of responses. On Monday, owners Pete Cimino and Chris Dorsaneo addressed the controversy outside Lloyd Taco Factory on Hertel Avenue.

On Monday, owners apologized for that apology, saying it was hastily made.

"I want to apologize for our past statement after our truck's visit to the federal detention center in Batavia last Wednesday," said co-owner Pete Cimino. "The last five days have been exceptionally challenging. We had three truck visits cancel on us."

In the original statement, owners said they would donate to Justice for Migrant Families to help make amends. Jennifer Connor, Executive Director of the organization was disappointed to hear Monday's newest development.

"Lloyd's and every business needs to be clear on their values and express those through how they practice in the community," said Connor.

Owners said they want to stay far away from making policy and just stick to making food.

"“We want to emphasize that we don’t take sides," said Cimino. "our business is about sharing, about looking across a table at a friend or colleague and discussing life’s issues. We provide the method and the place for respectful discussion.”

ICE responded last week in a statement saying, "We will not apologize for doing [our jobs], not even to a food truck that now chooses to discriminate against us.”

The business admits it received three cancellations amid the controversy, but says sales remain steady.

"Our trucks are going out for lunch today. Our restaurants will serve lunch and dinner today, and every day," said Cimino. "Come to Lloyd as a safe, fun place to enjoy a meal and share life.”

Connor feels this controversy could be a good thing.

"I think we need to shed more light on immigrant detention. I think that's a huge positive that could come out of this situation," said Connor.

You can read more about the initial social media post, and the response to it here.

This article was written by Taylor Epps for WKBW.