Barry Wong's Tenant, Interviewed by Carlos Galindo
Radio host Carlos Galindo recently paid a visit to the convenience store/restaurant Minute Liquor/Dora's Kitchen on 16th Street in south Phoenix to talk to the owner, who happens to be GOP CorpCom candidate Barry Wong's tenant.
Though the man is not identified, there is a financing statement for the business on file with the Maricopa County Recorder's Office, which is signed by Barry Wong as secretary/trustee of the Ngok and Choi Wong Family Trust. Apparently, the building once housed Wong's father's grocery store.
Minute Liquor's owner explains that he's an immigrant from Bulgaria, and has been in the United States for forty years. Galindo asks for the man's opinion on Wong's proposal to deny the undocumented utilities.
Wong's tenant declines to criticize the CorpCom candidate directly, noting that Wong "has been very good to us as a landlord."
All the same, it's plain that the man doesn't agree with Wong.
"I will tell you my stance on how I feel that immigrants, whether they be legal or illegal, should be treated," he says. "They should be treated with respect. I believe that maybe our government should take a stance and step in to help the illegals and the immigrants."
According to him, some 80 percent of his clients over the years have been Hispanic.
"To me those are our dearest customers, wonderful people. I don't know their status whether they were legal or illegal," he explains.
He also offers, "I believe everyone should be given a chance, regardless of how they came here."
His business is down 75 percent in the last three years, he says, because of the situation in Arizona, with many immigrants leaving the state. He even talks about how some customers have stopped in to say goodbye before heading out of Arizona.
Still, I'm guessing knowledge of all of this doesn't keep Barry Wong from cashing the rent check at the first of the month. Wong may not want utilities to take greenbacks from illegal immigrants, but he's got no problem doing it himself, albeit indirectly.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.