In the wake of Donald Trump's controversial comments about Mexican immigrants, foodies are calling for chef Jose Andres to back out of his deal to open a new restaurant at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The Republican presidential candidate and real estate mogul is building a 270-room luxury hotel expected to open in mid-2016 in the now-vacant Old Post Office Pavilion on Pennsylvania Avenue.
“To me, José Andrés has been a big role model for the Latino community,” Erick Sanchez, a D.C. resident and Mexican American who started the Change.org petition calling on Andrés to “Dump Trump,” told the Washington Post. “Growing up, my dad always told me you’re only as good as the company you keep, and I think he would benefit professionally from cutting ties.”
At the time of publication, the “Drump Trump” petition has gotten over 450 signatures.
Andres, who was born in Spain and became a citizen in 2013, operates several restaurants in the D.C. area and is largely credited with popularizing tapas in the U.S.
“I need to make sure everybody understands that many immigrants like me — given the right opportunity like I was given — we can have a positive impact in this amazing country.”
Trump recently come under fire for proclaiming that Mexico is not sending its “best citizens to the U.S.”-- but rather “they’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” In wake of the controversy, Macy’s and NBC have severed ties with the real estate mogul.
Andres has yet to respond to the petition but did respond to a Tweet last week stating that his “views on immigration are clear."
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) July 2, 2015
Last November, Andres signed a lease for his new flagship restaurant in Trump's hotel.
A Trump spokesman confirmed to the Washington Post that the restaurant is still planning to open.