By Elizabeth Elizalde
A Mexican immigrant, a Dreamer and now a viral sensation, Ricardo Aca, is not afraid to let Donald Trump know his comments hurt immigrants, even if it costs him his job.
“Trump points out all these immigrants that have done all these terrible things, but those aren’t the immigrants that I know. That’s not what we’re like,” Aca said in a video published by New Left Media on Monday.
The video received more than 300,000 views on Facebook and people on social media praised Aca for speaking out against Trump.
“I wish people would stop being so racist and rude. He’s just trying to have a better life here just like everyone else,” Sabdi Vasquez from Delaware commented on Facebook.
“A brave young man – one of the countless thousands cleaning up after, cooking for, and waiting for Americans,” said Jan Bird, another Aca social media supporter.
And other people who agree with Trump on immigration had not so nice things to say about Aca.
“He believes he is not a criminal, despite the fact (which he openly admits) that he broke the law. I wonder how he would define criminal,” said John Schutz.
But the 24-year old immigrant from Mexico who works at Koi Restaurant, which leases space in the Trump Hotel Soho says he worries he might get fired. “I know I could lose my job just for talking about Trump,” Aca said. “It doesn’t make me proud to go to work every day under his name.”
In response to Aca’s video, Trump told the New York Times, “He’s got a legal work permit. I’ve heard he does a good job. We thought he was an illegal immigrant at first.”
Aca didn’t make clear if he had legal papers to work in the U.S., but told the Times, he’s in the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which he has to renew every two years. Trump opposes the program that grants Aca a work permit, and shortly after the video went viral, the Koi payroll asked Aca to review his papers.
Aca came to the U.S with his family at age 14 and lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn, the place he has called home for more than ten years. He attended Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens and graduated from LaGuardia Community College with an associate’s degree in photography.