BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The owner of one of Canton’s most popular waterfront restaurants, The Boathouse, says more than 30 immigrant workers left in fear after a Department of Homeland Security worker hand-delivered a letter demanding documentation of their immigration status.

That stunned the eatery’s customers.

“It seems like terrorizing people who are trying to work at the restaurant,” says customer Michelle Zhang. “It’s not only bad for for the business but it’s bad for the families.”

“If that many left… are they not following the policy?” asks Ryan Horan, another customer. “Are they not doing it the way they should be doing it?”

Owner Gene Singleton insists his business was in compliance with immigration law.

He posted a letter posted online Saturday, he wrote:

“Based on our Government’s current practices of targeting the Hispanic Community, properly documented and potentially less than properly documented are all fearful of being separated from their families, many with small children. Many went home to pack up and leave.”


Singleton declined to speak on camera, but one first generation Mexican-American customer, Roman, says he sees no problem with immigration officials checking the status of workers.

“We’ve just got to make sure that everybody is playing by the same rules,” he says.

WJZ has learned that The Boathouse was not the only business targeted.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement won’t confirm or deny any ongoing investigations in Baltimore, but the Trump administration has increasingly been cracking down.

Immigration officers are now forcing out undocumented immigrants without criminal records, fast-tracking almost 1 million nationwide for deportation.

“More phone calls from family members and friends of my clients saying I have to check in and my friend checked in and she just got arrested and she’s gone now,” says immigration attorney George Lobb.

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Comments (162)
  1. Sounds like the owner should go to jail for hiring them.

  2. Stu Pedasso says:

    Good. Hire some legal ones or some Americans who are looking for work while they’re out of school this summer. Get it?

  3. And as we all know, there are no able bodied, unemployed people in Baltimore….right?

  4. Mark Meyer says:

    Why is the Boathouse hiring illegal aliens?

  5. I am encouraged and not really surprised by the comments here offering little to no sympathy for the illegals and the restaurant owner. This is America and you don’t get to waltz right in illegally and make a life for yourself. We have laws and our new POTUS will make sure those laws are followed.

  6. Why is this a bad thing? Now he can put out a “help wanted” sign and 30 Americans can have a job.

    If he has to raise prices for American workers, what’s wrong with that? Isn’t that what people who want a minimum wage increase to do? Why not let the free market decide?

  7. Bob Johnson says:

    Liberals are absolutely pathetic with their cries of “but don’t separate the family” BS, it’s a tired and repetitive line of hooey. IF someone is here illegally and wants to get out before they’re caught, so be it…REGARDLESS of who they brought along as accomplishes in their criminal endeavor.

    Liberals act like because they have children, the law does not apply. Surprise! That lawlessness is over, there’s a new sheriff in town. MAGA – Restore JUSTICE to our legal system.

  8. The restaurant created their own demon by hiring illegals, and now they are whining because they have to pay for their misdeed. Liberals never accept responsibility for their own crimes.

  9. Mike Kruczaj says:

    The Business should be fined because they hired people without checking their status in regards to Social Security Numbers. How did they become employed in the first place?

  10. So go hire some Blacks. Just be sure to give them some space to trash with thier violence like your mayor does. Good luck with that, B’more. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

  11. Dear ILLEGALS, Take a HIKE. . thanks

  12. Lulua Mahalo says:

    “Owner Gene Singleton insists his business was in compliance with immigration law.” hahaha

    Then why did 30 leave?

  13. “Owner Gene Singleton insists his business was in compliance with immigration law.”

    Then 30 of your employees would not have left. Do you think we are THAT stupid?

  14. Paying taxes does not make you legal. It means they were using someone else’s SSN and paying taxes in their name. They should have detained them because most of them will not be at their previous address. The owner is about to get fined BUG TIME!

  15. Mike Tor says:

    Compliance ? Sure, using ID theft. No more Illegal Aliens in the voting booth. No more Illegal Aliens taking jobs and benefits that are for citizens.

  16. Georani Jay says:

    Good. We have families here as well, and you have come into our country and displaced jobs for our citizens. Go away.

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