Restaurant T-shirt sparks racial controversy - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Restaurant T-shirt sparks racial controversy

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Mexican restaurant in Columbia is gaining national attention -- but not because of their food.

The restaurant Taco Cid in West Columbia is creating controversy with its restaurant T-shirts that are being worn and sold. The slogan on the T-shirts read, "How to catch an illegal immigrant." It's accompanied by a cartoon drawing of two tacos used as bait and placed beneath a makeshift box trap.

Reports say a picture of an employee wearing the t-shirt was tweeted and spread like wildfire and ignited a hot debate. The restaurant owner says the employees are unfairly being accused of racism.

"We've receive death threats, we've received bomb threats, we've received phone calls from the West Coast talking about they support us," Taco Cid owner Leanne Shelgrove said. "We pay taxes. I think that if you're an illegal immigrant then you don't need to be here or you need to get your job with paying your taxes. We just - we're just not down for illegal immigrants."

The owner goes on to say that the shirts are meant to be a "witty and comical statement" about undocumented immigrants, adding if people don't agree they can eat elsewhere.

Shelgrove says since the shirts have debuted, they have gotten calls from all over the country with people wanting them. The shorts sell for $35.

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