DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - If your taste buds don't tell you, your other senses will that Francisco Mejia is an immigration success story.
"The family always talked about owning a restaurant," Francisco says.
But it's a story that might not get told if it was being written nowadays.
"It's a mess now," Francisco says. "It's real hard to get over here."
Francisco's restaurant Taqueria Mixteca is like a little piece of Mexico on Third Street. Everything's authentic from the food to the television.
A second restaurant was recently opened in Trotwood.
But Francisco, who came here from Mexico with his Mom when he was two months old, isn't even sure he'd be able to make it into the country today.
"Thirty years ago it was way easier, but now it's way difficult," Francisco says.
That's why groups like the Center for Hispanic Leadership welcome the talk of immigration reform in Washington.
They want to make it easier for those from other countries to get here legally.
"It's time for both parties to take this seriously," says Jose "Rafi" Rodriguez the President of the Ohio Chapter of the Center for Hispanic Leadership. "It's going to be tough, but it's doable."
Already Dayton though it's Welcome Dayton plan has done small things to try to make the city more immigrant friendly.
"The way this is going to spread and the way it's going to be communicated to the world is going to be by text messages and emails and cell phone calls by the people living here saying to their friends this is a pretty good place to be and it takes a whole community to make that happen," says Dayton City Manager Tim Riordan.
City leaders hope to one day have more immigrant-run businesses like Taqueria Mixteca and the jobs that come with them because Francisco's story is also our story.
"Most all of us are here to make a better living for ourselves and our families," Francisco says.
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