Rep. Luis Guterriez (D-Ill.) on Wednesday morning tried to demonstrate how difficult it is to decide which people are U.S. citizens and which are immigrants by showing pictures of celebrities on the House floor and asking viewers to guess who was born in America.
Gutierrez's game-show-like presentation was meant to highlight that Arizona's immigration law could lead to racial profiling. The Supreme Court on Monday upheld part of Arizona's law that allows the state's police to check whether people are lawful immigrants, but rejected other parts that allow police to enforce immigration laws in any way.
"The idea that any government official can determine who belongs in America and who doesn't simply by looking at them is completely ridiculous, unfair and un-American," Gutierrez said. "And yet this absurdity is the law of Arizona."
To show how difficult it is, Gutierrez first showed a picture of Geraldo Rivera and Ted Koppel. He said that while some might guess that Rivera is a non-American — "for some reason that clearly has nothing to do with the way he looks" — Rivera was born in New York, while Koppel was born in England.
He then showed pictures of singers Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber, and noted that Gomez was born in Texas, while Bieber is Canadian.
"Justin, when you perform in Phoenix, remember to bring your papers," Gutierrez said.
He also showed pictures of Jeremy Lin and Tony Parker, both NBA point guards, and noted that Lin is the U.S. citizen, while Parker was born in Europe. Gutierrez feigned confusion over Lin and Parker, and mockingly marveled at the skill Arizona police must have to tell the difference.
"I'm not an Arizona police officer — who would know that Jermey Lin was born in Los Angeles and Tony Parker, whoops, Europe, Belgium?"