El Tiempo restaurant faces backlash after owner takes picture with AG Jeff Sessions

HOUSTON – The social media accounts of a popular Houston Tex-Mex restaurant have been shut down due to extreme backlash over a controversial picture.

The decision to shut down the social media accounts came after the El Tiempo posted a photo of executive chef Domenic Laurenzo with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The social media backlash was instant, with some even calling for a boycott of the restaurant. Those speaking out against the photo say Sessions' stance on immigration is the issue. 

Laurenzo said the photo was taken and sent to the person who handles the restaurant's social media, who posted it without consulting with management.

He said he never meant to offend anyone.

"The last thing I ever wanted to do was to upset everybody. It didn't dawn on me until after that everyone was associating me with approving of the politics of Mr. Sessions and by no means is that the case. It's been a big misunderstanding," Laurenzo said.

The social media attack continued, so the restaurant pulled the post on Friday night, then Saturday shut down their social media altogether. 

But for community activist Cesar Espinosa, the apology isn't good enough.

"A lot of these restaurants hire undocumented people, they hire immigrants to work, to take these long shifts, to serve people with a smile on their face, and you have this man, Jeff Sessions, who, consequentially, before visiting El Tiempo blamed a lot of the u-s crime, a lot of the U.S. ills on immigrants. So you can't have it both ways. You can't be hypocritical and say, 'I don't like immigrants but I like what they contribute to the U.S. through their food and their culture,'" Espinosa said.

While many are protesting the restaurant, there are also those supporting the restaurant even more because of the backlash.