TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Owners of a restaurant north of Tucson has been facing backlash after attending President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Phoenix earlier this month.
Jorge and Betty Rivas own Sammy’s Mexican Grill, located near the town of Catalina. Inside the restaurant, customers can easily spot their political party affiliation. They spoke to Arizona's Family's Tucson affiliate KOLD about their support of the president.
“We have supported the president pretty much from day one,” Jorge said. "Every single rally he has had in Phoenix she goes or I go or sometimes we both go, this time we decided we both wanted to go.” It’s a decision they said would hurt them in the coming days. Betty’s face was circled and posted to Facebook, calling her out for attending the rally.
“People recognize her being at the rally they circle her face around her picture and say ‘oh this is the lady that owns Sammy’s Mexican grill,’” Jorge said.
Negative comments continued on their Facebook page, even on a video they made in response. Jorge said they’ve even been getting numerous phone calls in response. “Just yesterday I had a few guys say ‘you guys are — you’re racists, you’re evil, you’re the worst of the worst.’”
The two are being called out for being immigrants themselves. Jorge is from El Salvador and Betty is from Sonora, Mexico. It's something that’s come up once before when they experienced more hate after the 2016 Trump rally.
“When we started seeing those comments on Facebook and Google we said there we go it’s starting again,” Jorge said. Online commenters said they should be leaving politics out of their business, but the Rivas’ say it’s their right of free speech.
“We fell that is very important for every person to say ‘this is what I stand for’ and in our case we are Republicans we are behind the president,” Jorge said. With no plans of getting out of the kitchen, no matter how bad the heat. “I came to this country for the freedoms and I’m going to stand by it," Jorge said.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted in support of the restaurant.
The food is GREAT at Sammy’s Mexican Grill in Phoenix, Arizona. Congratulations to Betty & Jorge Rivas on doing such a wonderful job. I will try hard to stop by the next time I am in Phoenix. Support Sammy’s! @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2020