WEST COLOMBIA, South Carolina (WIS) - A photo of a T-shirt worn by employees of Taco Cid, a Mexican-style restaurant in West Columbia, South Carolina has sparked accusations of racism.
The shirt pictures a pair of tacos underneath a wooden trap with the phrase "How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant" written just above in red, white, and green lettering -- the same three colors on the Mexican national flag.
The photo appeared on social networks and across news media websites over the weekend. The backlash prompted the store's owner to post a response to the uproar on the restaurant's website.
"Our T-shirts were created as a witty and comical statement regarding ILLEGAL immigrants. There are NO racial nor hate remarks towards any specific ethnic group," said the statement.
The statement goes to say that employees are not forced to wear the shirt, and that the owners believe illegal immigrants "are burdening the system we support and live under, thereby, causing us to work harder and pay higher taxes to support the illegal activities."
The owner, Leanne Snelgrove, says she's gotten calls from as far as the United Kingdom pledging support. She's even got one woman who is taking orders for the shirt.
Snelgrove says the genesis of the shirt began in during a trip to Key West.
"We actually ran across 'How to Catch an Illegal Immigrant', and we just spun off of that, put our name on it, and printed them up," said Snelgrove. "We've been wearing them for two months, but apparently, it's just now hit national."