Al Jazeera Profiles Philly Businesses Owned by Undocumented Immigrants

Los Gallos Taqueria's Luz Jimenez once faced deportation.

Al Jazeera English’s Duarte Geraldino profiles a North Philly bakery, which is notable in one way: It’s owned by undocumented immigrants.

According to Geraldino’s story, hundreds of thousands of small businesses in the United States are owned by undocumented immigrants. There are roughly 12 million immigrants here illegally.

Philadelphia immigration lawyer Kimberly Tomczak says it’s quite common for undocumented immigrants to own businesses in the city. “I see it a lot. A lot of my clients are business owners. It’s mostly common in restaurants or convenience stores or corner stores, but you also see it with construction and contracting work.”

The story leaves one big question unanswered, however: Is there a cheesesteak shop owned by undocumented immigrants you can patronize if you don’t like Geno’s politics? But the stories are good: In 2010, Los Gallos Taqueria’s Luz Jimenez called the police after being attacked by customers. Here illegally, he was arrested.

But, since Jimenez is a good businessman who pays his taxes and has good reviews on Yelp — really — an immigration judge put his case on a sort of permanent hold. Next time you order from Los Gallos, you can give a little tip of your cap to a judge.

[Al Jazeera]