We're treading into Lou Dobbs territory here on Peon Confidential today...
LONDON (Reuters) – A Mexican national who told airport immigration he was visiting Britain to see a friend was swiftly deported after a search unearthed a good-luck card in his luggage wishing him well for his "new life in the UK."
UK Border Agency officers at Manchester Airport routinely stopped the 40-year-old chef after he arrived on a flight from Los Angeles last Friday.
The man told them he was on a short trip to see a friend who was opening a restaurant in the area.
"However, a search of the passenger's baggage revealed a huge collection of Mexican food recipes and a good-luck card from his church wishing him well for his 'new life in the UK,'" the agency said in a statement.
The man later admitted he had intended to work at the restaurant illegally and had planned to bring his family over from America if he liked it.
He was deported the next day.
Now, I'm not defending illegal immigration. My mom is an immigrant, but she had all the proper paperwork. Plus, she had a lovely collection of sparkly disco pants and mini skirts. That's called immigrating with panache and respect.
But I think in this situation, the immigration officials might have made an exception.
I lived in London for two and a half years.
There was not one decent Mexican restaurant in my neighborhood, or any neighborhood that I stumbled into.
No El Ranchero. No Pancho Villa's. Nada!
And I love Mexican food, so I had to resort to making my own at home. I would buy some crappy, overpriced Old El Paso taco kits from the "specialty" store. I'd fry up beef that may or may not have been infected with Mad Cow disease. (I'm not showing any signs of it yet--fingers crossed.) English friends would come over, sniff my inauthentic feast and say,
(With the "a" pronounced as in "apple".)
You see how severe this problem is?
England needs some delicious Mexican restaurants. Maybe things have changed since I lived there, but I'm doubtful.
They should have let this Mexican chef into the country. Or at least confiscated his recipes. It might have opened up a whole new culinary world...