April 22, 2010 8:59 am ET - by Melinda Warner
Maybe Republicans should stop being so supportive of the newly passed, very restrictive, and probably civil rights-violating bill in Arizona. They're certainly not doing themselves any favors.
First, it was Sen. McCain (R-AZ) who decided that the obvious racial profiling that will occur if (ok, when) the bill becomes law is justified because of all the "intentional" accidents "illegals" are causing.
Then, it was Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) who said that "trained professionals" can spot an undocumented immigrant simply by the way they're dressed. Watch:
Chris Matthews: ...like what, like what? Give me a non-ethnic aspect that would tell you to pick up somebody.
Rep. 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.
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.
His subsequent comments on behavior are just as offensive. Because what would that behavior be, exactly? It isn't as if undocumented immigrants are engaging in behavior that makes them instantly identifiable as "illegal."
This bill, no matter what language included to prevent it, will result in the racial profiling of Latino citizens, legal residents, and any and all visitors to Arizona. Not to mention everyone else who might appear to be Latino to these "trained professionals."
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