As a controversial Mexican restaurant chain is in the midst of opening a new location in Arizona, it is once again under fire for its name — Illegal Pete’s.
Students at the University of Arizona’s Hispanic student organization M.E.Ch.A. have sent a letter to the owner of Illegal Pete’s, asking the Colorado businessman to change to the name of his restaurant because they say it offends Hispanics.
“We are not like other communities where your business exists, and we are more than willing to show you that,” the group wrote,according to the Arizona Daily Star. “We are here to tell you that no longer will you be able to claim blissful ignorance and profit from racism.”
Illegal Pete’s owner, Pete Turner, has been called on before by Latino rights groups to change the name, but has adamantly defended his restaurant’s name. Turner argues that name was meant to be “mysterious” and playful, and is also an homage to his father, whose name was also Pete.