Deportees Find Refuge in Mexico City Barbecue Joint
May 11, 2018, 09:03 PM
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The Los Angeles Times fills a lot of its prime front page acreage with illegal alien sob stories — do the editors think non-English-speakers will like the pictures, or are the news honchos appealing to liberals and their open-borders values?

But Thursday’s sob story had a happy ending, where unhappy deportees are being hired by a Mexico City barbecue joint run by an American friendly to their situation. It seems some Mexicans loved the US so much that they broke into it — somehow missing the “nation of laws” idea — and now that they are deported back to Mexico, they miss US dollars and culture. But a few have found a comfy safe space.


Dan Defossey, the owner of the barbecue restaurant, thinks President Trump is a meanie for enforcing America’s immigration laws, and he hires deported Mexicans to fight back. Mexico is a good place for Defossey since he dislikes American law and sovereignty so much. And is he unaware that Mexico is a strong defender of its own southern border?

Illegal immigration is theft, where foreigners break into our national home to take things that don’t belong to them, like jobs, education and government benefits. Anyway, Mexico is rich (#16 in world GDP) and could be fixed up if its citizens cared enough to bother.

This Mexico City restaurant is rescuing deportees with jobs and Texas barbecue, Los Angeles Times, May 9, 2018

In the days after his deportation, Victor Cruz Ortega wandered the crowded streets of Mexico City in an escalating panic.

His kids, his job and every other fiber of life were back in Redondo Beach, the sun-soaked California community he called home for three decades. Now he was alone and penniless in a teeming Latin American metropolis he had not seen since leaving for the United States at age 11.

Cruz, 45, applied for every job that he saw advertised: cook, hotel worker, tour guide. At times, he broke down crying in public. He tried to give himself pep talks. He prayed. And then, finally, after months of looking, an unforeseen blessing arrived, and in a most unlikely form.

Cruz was rescued by Texas-style barbecue.

This month, he started working as prep cook at Pinche Gringo, a popular Mexico City barbecue joint whose American proprietor has made a special effort to hire deportees and other Mexicans who have returned after long stints north of the border. Owner Dan Defossey says it’s his answer to President Trump’s hard-line immigration policies, which last year resulted in the deportation of more than 11,000 Mexicans each month.

“That’s our government. I feel responsible for it,” said Defossey, a native New Yorker who fell in love with barbecue — and the border — while teaching high school in South Texas.

“You ask yourself, ‘What can I do?'”

Seven of Defossey’s 50 employees were either deported to Mexico or came back for personal reasons. They are part of a growing influx of returning citizens who have struggled to reintegrate into Mexican society, a vulnerable population that Mexican officials have been slow to acknowledge and assist.

Set apart by their American accents and clothing style, and unaccustomed to the much lower wages, many returnees view Mexico as a kind of exile. Pinche Gringo, with its live country music, English-language comedy nights and icy bottles of Michelob and Budweiser, offers its workers a slice of Americana that many sorely miss.