Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., used teen pop stars Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez to argue that the Arizona immigration law allowing officers to check the immigration status of detainees will lead to racial profiling.
“Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez,” Gutierrez said on the House floor this morning while displaying a photo of the two, who are reportedly dating each other. “I’m sure Justin helped Gomez learn all about American customs and feel more at home in her adopted country,” he said, assuming that Gomez is the immigrant for the sake of his argument.
“Actually, Miss Gomez, of Texas, has helped Mr. Bieber of Canada learn about his adopted country,” Gutierrez added, before suggesting that Bieber might have to provide documentation to Arizona law enforcement. “Justin, when you perform in Phoenix, remember to bring your papers.”
Gutierrez said the Arizona law has police play a “game of pick-out-the-immigrant.”
He also showed pictures of Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Antonin Scalia. “If these two justices step out to Starbucks [in Arizona], which one do you think is likeliest to be a suspect? The Anglo male or the Latina?” he asked.
The U.S. Supreme Court overturned most of the Arizona immigration law as an infringement on federal authority, but allowed the state’s provision for checking the immigration status of detainees to be implemented.
Attorney General Eric Holder said that he would “closely monitor” Arizona law enforcement for racial profiling. “I remain concerned about the impact of Section 2, which requires law enforcement officials to verify the immigration status of any person lawfully stopped or detained when they have reason to suspect that the person is here unlawfully,” Holder said in his statement on the court’s ruling.