Friday, April 12, 2024

Undocumented Workers Identifiable by “grooming habits” according to GOP lawmaker

In a statement on the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday, Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa defended Arizona’s new anti-immigration law and justified the need for profiling.

A requirement that local law enforcement stop individuals if they have “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the country illegally is one of the most controversial elements of the new law, SB 1070, since  it does not define what things could constitute suspicion.  Many, including President Obama, argue that this will lead to racial profiling of Latinos in the state.

In his remarks, King said, “profiling has always been an important component of legitimate law enforcement. If you can’t profile someone, you can’t use those common sense indicators that are before your very eyes.”

Among the “indicators” that King claims can identify undocumented workers are “what kind of shoes people wear, what kind of accent they have,” and “the type of grooming that they might have”.

He went on to illustrate what he described as the positive aspects of profiling by recounting the ease in which he was able to catch a cab on the streets of Washington because he was wearing a suit.

Earlier the same day, while appearing as a guest on right-wing radio host G. Gordon Liddy’s talk show, King said of President Obama’s opposition to SB1070, “…he has a default mechanism in him…that favors the black person.”

He also described the opposition efforts to the Arizona law as being lead by “radical quasi-militant Latinos”.

King has long been a staunch proponent of anti-immigration measures and is often lauded by extreme anti-immigrant and nativist groups.

The Hill


Think Progress