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What I Learned – Illinois Gas Station Clerk Fired For Telling Women To “Go Back To Their Country”

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In a video, the clerk is seen complaining about undocumented immigrants and telling a group of Latina customers that, “ICE will come.”

Posted on July 18, 2019, at 9:52 p.m. ET



An Illinois gas station clerk who threatened a group of Latina customers that “ICE will come,” was fired two days after video of the altercation went viral, the store’s owner said Thursday.

In the video posted on Facebook, a clerk standing behind the payment counter is heard apparently complaining to two women about what he suspected were undocumented people.

“I’m an American,” he tells them, pointing at his chest.

“And?” one of the women responds. “What is your problem?”

“It’s illegal,” he responds.

“Are you a citizen?” he asks.

“Yes,” a woman replies.

“Don’t you know the rules?” he responds. “They need to go back to their country. It’s illegal.”

“You be quiet,” a woman says.

“You’ll be sorry,” he replies. “ICE will come.”

As the women walk away, the man is heard saying, “Bye. God bless you. You have the wrong country.”

On Thursday, Bucky’s Convenience Stores confirmed that the employee was no longer working with the company, calling his behavior “inappropriate.”

“He is no longer employed by us,” the company said in the statement. “We do not tolerate any behavior that is insensitive to our valued customers. Bucky’s Convenience Stores is a very diverse and inclusive company that believes in treating all individuals with the utmost respect.”

Carolina Buitron, who recorded the exchange, told NBC Chicago that she and her family, some of whom were visiting from Mexico, stopped at the station for snacks. Buitron said she and her family were speaking Spanish when the cashier told them to leave because they were “illegals.”

“He started asking about my cousins, if they were illegal, family or friends, are they adopted,” she told the station.

Buitron did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News request for comment.

More than 500,000 people have viewed the video since it was posted Tuesday, and the incident sparked protests at the Naperville station.

The recorded exchange notably occurred just two days after President Trump tweeted a similar racist trope at four Democrat members of Congress — all women of color — suggesting they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Officials in Naperville condemned the treatment of the women.

“Let me be abundantly clear: hate has no home here in Naperville,” Mayor Steve Chirico said in a statement posted on Facebook Wednesday. “Quite frankly, this type of behavior has no place in society at large.”

Naperville Police told BuzzFeed News the department was also aware of the video and was looking into the incident. The police department has been in contact with the city attorney, Commander Mike Son said, but no charges had been filed.

The clerk in the video was identified as Joseph Phillip Daniel, a Trump supporter who describes himself on social media as a “prophet,” and has repeatedly posted videos of himself reciting prayers in the middle of natural landscapes.

He did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News request for comment.

Daniel has also referred to Democrat politicians, including former vice president Joe Biden, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as satanists. In social media posts, he claimed Democrats would be taken down by the “Trump curse” if they attacked the president.

In one video, Daniel stood in front of the Washington offices of Ocasio-Cortez and said, “All the demons in this office are powerless against you, Father God, and your appointed leader, Donald J. Trump.”

The Naperville Police Department said it was also aware of Daniel’s videos referencing lawmakers.

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