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Texas Restaurant Threatened With ICE Calls For Not Ending Mask Policy, Owner Says



TX – The owner of a Mexican restaurant in Texas said some customers have threatened to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement on his employees because of the business’ continued requirement of masks.

Last week, Gov. Greg Abbott announced he was easing statewide COVID-19 restrictions by rescinding the mask mandate and allowing any business to operate at 100% capacity. The orders will officially be lifted on Wednesday, March 10.

Businesses, however, are able to decide if they want to keep their own mask requirements in place, which is leading to backlash from customers.

Picos Mexican Restaurant owner Arnaldo Richards told KHOU his Houston business will be keeping its mask policy but that the decision is not sitting well with some of his customers. He said some have gone as far as threatening to call immigration authorities.

“Saying you shouldn’t be going against the governor, they are going to send immigration and check green cards. What does that have to do with anything? Come on. People are haters… we are going to continue doing what we’re doing. We’re doing it for my employees and we’re doing it for the community,” Richards told KHOU.

Many big retailers and grocery stores such as Target, Best Buy and Kroger will be keeping their mask policies in place in Texas.

In a statement, Kroger said: “To ensure the continued safety of our customers and associates, The Kroger Family of Companies will continue to require everyone in our stores across the country to wear masks until all our frontline grocery associates can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Some small businesses in North Texas told CBS 11 News on Saturday they decided to end their mask policies early.

“I am not sure why Wednesday will be the magic day? It’s not okay before but after it will be okay? I am just going to let people make that decision for themselves,” said Cydney Sullivan of Roses on the Vine in Grapevine.

“I said ‘you must wear it, or you must leave.’ Now I can’t do that anymore. There’s no teeth. What do you say?” said another business owner, Sylvia Helton of Ooh La La Boutique in Grapevine. “The fact that we can make our own rules is good.”