Immigration Enforcement: For This Baltimore Restaurant, ICE Came Knocking And The Workforce Was Sent Flocking

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jun 29, 2017 4:00 PM
Immigration Enforcement: For This Baltimore Restaurant, ICE Came Knocking And The Workforce Was Sent Flocking

Well, if you need an example of how immigration policy has changed under the Trump administration, venture on down to the Boathouse in Canton, Maryland, where a review of the restaurant’s workforce had many fleeing the establishment. Immigration and Customs Enforcement came knocking and the workforce was sent flocking. The owner of the Boathouse insists that he’s complied with current federal immigration regulations, however, and says that the Trump administration is “targeting the Hispanic community” (via WaPo):

The co-owner of a dockside Baltimore restaurant has revealed that nearly his entire kitchen staff resigned after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent demanded their papers in the latest example of the national debate over immigration.

In an open letter to his customers Saturday, BoatHouse Canton owner Gene Singleton blamed the Trump administration “for targeting the Hispanic community.” He has since been alternately condemned or praised for defending his workers regardless of their legal status.

So now the restaurant is short 30 workers, with the remaining staff working double shifts and the departed seeking help from an immigrant advocacy agency.

“Properly documented and potentially less than properly documented are all fearful of being separated from their families, many with small children,” Singleton wrote in a Facebook post Saturday, a day after their departure. “Many went home to pack up and leave.”

They were, Singleton told The Washington Post, “some of the best citizens we have.”

Every worker had passed the restaurant’s vetting process and appeared to be in the United States legally, he said. No one at the BoatHouse has been publicly accused of wrongdoing, and a spokesman for ICE said he could not confirm the existence of investigations.


CBS Baltimore interviewed some customers of the establishment, where Michelle Zhang said, “It seems like terrorizing people who are trying to work at the restaurant. It’s not only bad for the business but it’s bad for the families.” One could argue that not enforcing federal immigration laws and disobeying the rule of law is bad, which is exactly what happens when an illegal alien enters the country without going through proper channels. Sorry, but a new sheriff is in town and he’s enforcing the law. 

It's unclear if the kitchen staff that fled were here illegally. If not, they had no reason to fear. If they were here and working legally, but quit because ICE showed up at the door, that's their problem.