How to Spot an Illegal: ‘Different Type of Attire’ and Their ‘Shoes’
April 23, 2010
(ChattahBox)— Is the conservative State of Arizona fast becoming a right-wing joke? Apparently so. Just this past week, the state legislature fueled a right-wing fringe conspiracy theory and passed a ‘birther bill” demanding to see President Obama’s birth certificate, before he can be placed on the state ballot in 2012. And to top off the week, Arizona lawmakers passed a draconian immigration bill, which permits racial profiling and makes it a crime to be in Arizona without the proper residency papers. Gov. Jan Brewer has until Saturday to veto the bill, sign it or do nothing and allow the tough immigration measure to become law. Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, appeared on MSNBC’s Chris Mathew’s Hardball to defend the Arizona immigration bill, claiming that police would use other methods, besides race to determine if a person was an illegal immigrant. What other methods? Examining the clothing and shoes people wear, because “illegals” apparently wear “different” attire. Who knew?
Besides clothing and footwear and presumably “different” headgear, such as a sombrero, for example, Bilbray also mentioned “behavior things” that police would evaluate to determine “reasonable suspicion” that a person was an undocumented immigrant:
MATTHEWS: “Like what, like what? Give me a non-ethnic aspect that would tell you to pick up somebody.”
BILBRAY: “They will look at the kind of dress you wear, there’s different type of attire, there’s different type of…right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes. But mostly by behavior it’s mostly behavior, just as the law enforcement people here in Washington, DC does it based on certain criminal activity there is behavior things that professionals are trained in across the board and this group shouldn’t be exempt from those observations as much as anybody else.”
Bilbray’s nativist and bigoted remarks are patently absurd. It’s obvious that Arizona police officers would become empowered under the new law to stop, question and arrest anyone they believe looks Hispanic.
Media Matters encapsulated the foolishness of Billbray’s defense of the immigration bill:
“So either Bilbray thinks that all undocumented workers are wearing some kind of uniform or team shirt that will easily allow Arizona officers to grab them up…or he’s just clumsily, wrongly, and, frankly, stupidly trying to justify what will obviously become a horrible situation for all Latino (or Latino-dressed?) residents of Arizona.”