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Do Republican Hardliners on Immigration Have a Shoe Fetish?

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Steve King and Brian Bilbray Offer Guidance to Arizona Law Enforcement: Check their Shoes

Washington, DC – Evidently, House hardliners have compared notes when it comes to backing the “papers please” Arizona anti-immigrant law.  Representatives Steve King (R-IA) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA) are defending the Arizona anti-immigrant law against charges of racial profiling by arguing that footwear is the key to identifying who is in the country illegally.  Really?  Yeah, really. 

This week, Rep. King said that law enforcement could spot those here illegally by noting common indicators, such as, “what kind of clothes people wear…what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accent they have, um, the, the type of grooming that they might have, there are all kinds of indicators there and sometimes it’s just a sixth sense and they can’t put their finger on it.” 

King’s comments eerily track comments made previously by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA).  When challenged to describe “non-ethnic aspects” by which those here illegally would be identified by law enforcement, Bilbray said, “the kind of dress you wear, there is different type of attire, there is different type of — right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes.”

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Are these the best sound bites the House hardliners can come up with?  Shoes?  Fashion?  Sixth sense?  They know – we all know – what’s going to happen when the Arizona law goes into effect: Cops will be compelled, under threat of lawsuit and in a way that undermines community policing, to seek out those with brown skin and Latino accents.”

To Representatives King and Bilbray, America’s Voice has a video that illustrates the absurdity of these arguments: “How will Arizona Profile People? Shoes!”

Watch the America’s Voice Shoes Video

America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.