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Food Truck Owner Says Town Council Member Cut Their Mobile Kitchen's Water Line & Screamed "Go Back To Your Own Country" In Lawsuit 

After fleeing #Haiti, a #Haitian couple in #Virginia found success with a market and food truck catering to their community. However, Clemene Bastien and Theslet Benoir are now suing the town of Parksley, alleging discrimination and harassment. The town denies the allegations, stating the couple failed to comply with regulations. 

"The town council member cut the mobile kitchen's water line and screamed, 'Go back to your own country!'" stated the couple.

Reflecting on their initial success, Bastien recounted, "When we first opened, there were a lot of people... And the day after, there were a lot of people. And then... they started harassing us," as interpreted by their spokesperson.

The lawsuit reflects broader tensions between food truck owners, local regulations, and immigrant communities. Parksley, though diverse, faces economic challenges. The couple's lawsuit seeks compensation and justice. 

"Restaurants often criticize food truck vendors for allegedly flouting regulations, while immigrants may be unfairly perceived as engaging in unsanitary or illegal practices," explained Wessel.

Discussing the outcome of such disputes, Wessel added, "The (food trucks) do get restrictions, but they don't get elimination. Or the city backs down and says, 'OK, we can negotiate.'"

Highlighting the demographic changes in the area, Thurka Sangaramoorthy, an American University anthropology professor, noted, "Meanwhile, the region's Haitian community keeps growing as more people work in the poultry industry."

According to U.S. Census data, "600 people identify as Haitian in Accomack County, with several thousand more on Maryland's Eastern Shore and in lower Delaware," Sangaramoorthy pointed out, suggesting that the Haitian population in the region likely numbers in the tens of thousands.

Despite challenges, the Haitian community continues to grow in the region, finding solace in familiar foods.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Link: NBCNews


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