Traveling to Arizona soon? Worried you might be considered "reasonably suspect" under the state's harsh immigration law? The country's largest labor union has some advice for you. Ahead of President Obama's face-off with Arizona Governor Jan Brewer today, the Service Employees International Union has launched a "travel advisory hotline" for travelers to Arizona who might be at risk of being questioned and detained under the new law. The hotline—which can be reached at 1-800-958-5068—is a tongue-in-cheek explanation of how visitors might avoid being profiled as illegal immigrants:
If you plan to wear jeans, press 1. If your skin is even remotely tanned, yellow, brown or blue in hue, press 2. If you tend to eat fast foods, drink bright colored juices or eat fresh vegetables in lieu of meat products, press 3.
If 1: Jeans are worn by many working people targeted by the new Arizona immigration law. Please wear slacks or khakis to avoid appearing suspicious. For more information, please press 4.
If 2: Working people come in many shapes and sizes, but anyone who doesn’t resemble a J. Crew or Ralph Lauren model, should be very, very careful. Consider wearing conservative or preppy clothing to avoid getting noticed. For more information, please press 4.
If 3: Many working people targeted by the new immigration Arizona immigration law eat fast foods and drink bright colored juices. Avoid these foods while traveling in Arizona to avoid undue attention from law enforcement officials. For more information, please press 4.
SEIU's new hotline plays off the notion, voiced by the Arizona law’s supporters, that state officials could use clothing to identify the illegal immigrants they should target under the new law. "They will look at 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," Republican Rep. Brad Bilbray (R-CA) told Chris Matthews. Though the law requires police to ask about immigration status only if an individual has been stopped for another offense, opponents argue that the law will invariably encourage racial profiling.
Should all else fail, potentially suspect travelers to Arizona who want to take extra precautions could always pick up a gringo mask.