Everyone has been carded at a bar before, but Diana Carrillo had never been asked for her proof of residency just so she could get a drink. That is exactly what she says happened to her and a group of Latina friends on March 11, when they visited Saint Marc Pub-Cafe in Huntington Beach, California, as the Washington Post reports.
"My sister and my friend were seated first and the waiter asked them for their 'proof of residency' when they ordered a drink," Carillo wrote on Facebook after the incident. "My friend in disbelief repeated what he said and his response was, 'Yeah, I need to make sure you're from here before I serve you.' Not knowing that this happened to them, my friend and I were then seated and he returned to the table and asked us for our 'proof of residency.'"
Carrillo and her friends complained to the manager, who said that he would let them switch tables and be served by a different waiter, but the group was distraught and decided to leave the Orange County restaurant.
Carrillo soon took to Facebook to vent about the slight, after she didn't know how to deal with it in the moment. "We've never encountered that kind of discrimination, we didn't know how to respond," she told ABC 7. "A lot of people have asked us, 'Why didn't you say something to the waiter? Why didn't you speak up?' But until It happens to you, you don't even know how to respond."
Carrillo's Facebook activism apparently paid off, as management terminated the waiter in question.
"In no way are the actions of this former employee representative of the Saint Marc brand nor are they reflective of the opinions of anyone else on our team, including executive management," a representative wrote on the company's Facebook page. "We have always celebrated being part of the diverse Huntington Beach community, which means valuing all guests and treating every individual with respect."
The eerie dining incident comes at a time when many immigrants, legal or otherwise, are worried about their status in the country thanks to President Donald Trump's travel bans and aggressive deportation policy. In this case, Saint Marc agreed to donate to a charity of the offended guest's choice, and Carrillo chose Orange County Immigrant Youth United.