Kiwi restaurant in New York City: 'Immigrants make America great'

Mark Simmons opened Kiwiana in Brooklyn in 2011.
Mark Simmons opened Kiwiana in Brooklyn in 2011.

A New York City restaurant headed by a Kiwi chef is dishing up a dose of politics with his customers' coffee, emblazoning receipts with a message referencing Donald Trump's strict immigration policies.

Mark Simmons, a chef who originally hails from Southland and has competed in the US version of Top Chef, opened Kiwiana in Brooklyn in 2011, bringing Kiwi cuisine to Americans.

Journalist Mary Emily O'Hara posted a photo of her receipt to Twitter after a recent brunch at Kiwiana.


A message at the bottom of the receipt read: "Immigrants make America great (they also cooked your food and served you today)", assumed to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to President Trump's campaign slogan "make America great again" after he issued an executive order banning immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations.

O'Hara, who has more than 7000 followers, told another Twitter user the wait staff at Kiwiana told her the message was the chef's idea.

Simmons isn't the only Kiwi speaking out about Trump's immigration policies.

More than 2000 people are expected at a protest in Aotea Square, Auckland tonight, against the US President's "racist and Islamophobic immigration bans".

An organiser of the protest, Mehwish, who did not want her last name published because of safety concerns, said Trump's executive order banning visitors from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen perpetuated "a pattern of white supremacist immigration exclusion in colonial settler countries like the United States". ​

She condemned Prime Minister Bill English for "refusing to call [the ban] for what it is - racist", saying most New Zealanders disagreed with the policy.

Another member of the Aotearoa Against Muslim Ban lobby group that organised the protest, Nisha - who also asked for her last name not to be published - said the sentiment of the executive orders was not unique to the Trump administration.

"Deportations and immigration restrictions have been in place for years. Rather than seeing Trump as an exception to the rule, we need to question the political and systematic racism that treats minorities, people of colour and immigrants as the 'dangerous others​'."

The protest begins at 6pm.

- NZ Herald

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