Golden Reef Diner

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Community Heartbroken After Rockville Centre Waiter Is Deported

June 26, 2018 - 12:00 pm

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- A longtime Long Island waiter was deported, and the community is so upset that they have donated thousands of dollars to bring him back.

At the Golden Reef Diner in Rockville Centre, there is a poster on the front door saying that Sal, “everyone’s favorite waiter,” has been deported.

Rockville Centre Waiter Deported
Sophia Hall/WCBS 880

Customers are clearly upset.

“I am so unbelievably sad,” one man said. “I’m really, really sad and it’s, I would just – I just heard. I can’t even express how sad I am.”

Sal, whose legal name is Sokol Vokshi, worked at the diner for 25 years. He owns a house in Elmont and has two children ages 12 and 14, one of whom is autistic.

Hall spoke to Vokshi himself by phone as he sat in the kitchen of his sister’s home in Albania. He was deported in April.

“I’ve never been arrested. All these years, I’ve been working hard in the United States; do the right thing, like, you know, 65 hours to 70 hours a week to provide for my family,” he said.

His estranged wife said his children are going through a lot.

Sal had been trying to become a citizen for years, and he was deported back to Albania in April.

Those in the community have so far raised $11,000 for an attorney to bring the 47-year-old back.

“We would take the tables if he was here. We would serve because he was so nice,” a man said.