A waiter at an upscale restaurant in Huntington Beach, California has been fired after asking four Latina customers to prove their American citizenship.
Diana Carrillo posted about the experience on Facebook last weekend and her story has since been verified by multiple media outlets. According to Carrillo, she and three friends had just been seated when their waiter asked for “proof of residency.” When they thought he might be joking, he said “I need to know you’re from here before I serve you.”
“I’ve never felt so judged in my life…. It sends a chill through your entire body,” Carrillo told the LA Times.
The four women didn’t stay, but did alert a manager, who offered to reseat them. They declined.
Hours later, Carrillo posted the experience on Facebook and Yelp, and management reached out with offers of VIP seating and a donation of 10 percent of the night’s proceeds to the charity of their choice.
They took him up on that, and Orange County Immigrant Youth United, a Santa Ana-based organization that advocates for undocumented immigrants, will get a donation.
Statements on Facebook and Instagram, which have since been deleted, said the waiter had been fired and that “this type of behavior… will not be tolerated.”
In a separate statement sent to The Times, restaurant management said the waiter’s actions were “in no way…representative” of the restaurant’s employees or management. “We have always celebrated being part of the diverse Huntington Beach community, which means valuing all guests and treating every individual with respect,” the statement read.