A popular Western New York food truck has found itself in the middle of an immigration debate.
After Lloyd Taco Truck served lunch Wednesday at a federal detention center in Batavia, a number of people criticized the business for setting up shop at a facility where undocumented immigrants are held in custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Lloyd quickly issued an apology, calling the decision an “honest mistake.”
It said it received a request a few weeks ago to serve at the prison and processed the request using “standard intake procedure.” Lloyd said the procedure usually helps the business make decisions it’s proud of, but not in this case.
“Lloyd has deep ties to the immigrant and refugee communities in Buffalo,” the company said in the statement.
It said it works closely with organizations that serve immigrants in the business’ hiring and recruiting processes. Lloyd promised to donate Wednesday’s sales to Justice for Migrant Families WNY.
“There is no excuse for what happened and we have already begun to update our internal procedures to ensure future truck stops and events align with our company’s values,” it wrote.
However, the statement seemed to spawn just as much backlash. Many people argued the company should not be apologizing for serving federal employees who have nothing to do with policy.
Among the critics of the apology was Republican state senator and congressional candidate Rob Ortt.
“In what world does a company feel the need to apologize for serving food to federal law enforcement officers who work in dangerous conditions? Pathetic pandering. The men and women who work to enforce our immigration laws and protect us deserve better,” he said in a statement.
Lloyd is one of Buffalo’s most prominent and longest running food trucks. The company also owns two brick-and-mortar restaurants and an ice cream shop.