21 July 2006

Taco trucks targeted in anti-immigrant backlash

I've been eating a straight-taco diet ever since arriving in Guadalajara 18 months ago. The taco stands I frequent serve up cheap fare for ridiculously-low prices. And I can't seem to remember ever falling ill afterwards. (Actually, the worst illness came after eating a can of tuna at home.) Some of these businesses rake in lots of lana (cash). In fact, a good taco stand is a gold mine and Mexicans generally like to patronize places with long lines. (As a friend explained, when he first saw a crowd at a taco stand he now frequents: "I figured it was either really good or really cheap.")

Now anti-immigrant politicians are cracking down on taco trucks north of the border. This is completely underhanded - and dare I say racist. Gwinnett County, Georgia outlawed mobile taco vendors, a move a local politician said would curb "Gypsy-fication" in the region. Politicians in Nashville apparently passed a similar motion, but it at least grandfathered existing trucks.

As my buddy Drew Johnson, director of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research in Nashville, observed, "All of the racist (idiots) complain about Mexicans coming to Nashville and not working.

"And then the same (people) restrict opportunities for entrepreneurship in the Hispanic community."

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