“Weekend Chasing Aliens” Contest in AZ

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Consider this a new nadir in the nation’s feverish immigration debate, sparked by Arizona’s controversial law. A Columbus, Ohio radio station thought it smart—or clever, or whatever—to run a contest offering listeners the chance to visit Phoenix, where “Americans are proud and illegals are scared,” as the station put it, to “spend a weekend chasing aliens and spending cash in the desert, just make sure you have your green card!”

The station, 610 WTVN, launched the contest in reaction to Columbus mayor Michael Coleman’s decision to ban city employees from visiting Arizona on official business in protest of that state’s immigration law. Apparently, the contest has already expired, but here’s the full description of the contest and an ad touting it, via Think Progress:

The text from the ad says:

610 WTVN would like to send you where Americans are proud and illegals are scared, sunny Phoenix, Arizona! You’ll spend a weekend chasing aliens and spending cash in the desert, just make sure you’ve got your green card! Win round trip airfare to Phoenix, hotel accomodations, and a few pesos in spending cash – just register below!

Needless to say, local community groups have railed on the radio station for the “chase an alien” contest. Said Leonardo Ramos, president of Colombianos in Ohio. “This is clearly the chilling effect of what is happening in Arizona with SB 1070. We believe that our community must respect and protect all people.” (You can read the full press release bashing the station here.) Members of community groups said they’ll also send letters to the general manager of Clear Channel in Columbus.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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