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Home / Articles / Opinion / Presently Tense /  Identifying illegal aliens
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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Identifying illegal aliens

A handbook for Arizona peace officers

By D.A. Kolodenko

The following guidelines for recognizing whether or not an individual is an illegal alien were prepared as a tool for assisting Arizona state police officers in the implementation of SB1070.

The new law makes it a state crime for an alien to be in the United States without registration documents required by federal law and requires police to determine a person’s immigration status if the officer suspects that the person is here illegally. Police, without a warrant, may arrest a person if there’s reasonable suspicion that he or she is an alien not in possession of required registration documents.

When Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed SB1070 on April 23, she issued a simultaneous executive order requiring the Arizona Peace Officer Standards and Training Board to train police on what does and what does not constitute reasonable suspicion.

“We must enforce the law evenly and without regard to skin color, accent or social status,” said the governor in a press conference on the day of the signing, adding, “We have to trust our law enforcement.”

Since police officers are thereby entrusted with enforcement of the new law yet discouraged from using skin color, accent or social status as determiners of immigration status, these guidelines were developed for distribution to peace officers statewide to ensure uniform identification and detention of potential illegal aliens:

1. A Mexican in a Home Depot parking lot is a likely illegal alien, regardless of whether he exits the store with a cartload of drywall.

2. A Mexican carrying a loaf of “Bimbo” bread is most likely an illegal alien; a Mexican accompanied by an actual bimbo may be a legal resident.

3. A Mexican who owns a 1988 Acura is almost certainly an illegal alien.

4. A Mexican working in a taco shop is probably an illegal alien, unless it’s a Taco Bell, Del Taco or Green Burrito, establishments that do not serve authentic Mexican food.

5. A Mexican in baggy jeans: gang member, probably illegal. A Mexican in skinny jeans: band member, probably legal.

6. Mercedes hood ornament, legal. Bullhorns on hood, illegal.

7. Speaking a foreign language that sounds like Spanish: probably illegal. Speaking a foreign language that sounds fancy and may be French or Swedish or something like that: probably a tourist.

8. A Mexican drinking Modelo Especial is probably an illegal alien. A Mexican drinking Corona is probably a legal immigrant.

9. A Mexican with any of the following substances adhered to the soles of his or her shoes is probably an illegal alien: dirt, mud, sand, gravel, nettles, Chiclets, low-octane gasoline, blood, cilantro.

10. A Mexican in a truck who’s listening to recorded music performed on any of the following instruments is a likely illegal alien: conga drums, accordion, marimba, fiddle, tuba.

11. Any person taking a nap (or “siesta”) under the hot sun, while leaning against a saguaro cactus, with a large sombrero covering his or her face, is a likely illegal alien.

12. Any Mexican person working extremely hard in the agricultural industry for very low wages without complaint is a probable illegal alien.

13. A Mexican male with the following styles of facial hair, often characteristic of an illegal alien, must be detained: mouche, fu manchu, muttonchops, goatee, pencil moustache, wispy beard.

14. A Mexican male and female running together in silhouette, while dragging a small child in the air behind them, is very likely an illegal alien.

15. A Mexican male in a shopping mall who makes an elderly Caucasian female shopper “feel uncomfortable” or gives her a “funny feeling” and “seems out of place” or “just doesn’t look right for some reason” could be an illegal alien.

16. Any Mexican woman watching a telenovela and getting very involved and crying out “Ay dios mio!” when she is supposed to be cleaning your house could be an illegal alien.

17. Anyone who calls a round ball a “football” is probably an illegal alien.

18. Any Mexican family enjoying a Saturday afternoon at a local park may be a family of illegal aliens.

19. A Mexican dying of thirst in the desert is almost certainly an illegal alien, and thus dying of thirst should be considered a de facto basis for detention.

20. A Mexican woman carrying an oversized shopping bag that does not have the name of a top designer on it may be an illegal alien.

21. A Mexican surfing the Internet in the library is probably an illegal alien. A Mexican testing out an iPad in the Apple Store is probably a legal immigrant.

22. A Mexican who self-consciously tries to “blend in” by wearing a cell phone clipped to the outside of his belt and who has a white male friend named “Skyler” or “Brad” whom he refers to as “bro” may be an illegal alien.

23. A Mexican possessing any of the following may be an illegal alien: leafblower, graduate degree, ice-cream truck, more than three children, artificial flowers, real flowers, Mexican license plates, a Bible, mild cheese with a crumbly texture, a calm demeanor, pesos, a strong work ethic, wrestling mask, a belief in ghosts and / or chupacabras, bus pass, Mexican flag, backache, American flag (oldest trick in the book).    

For more detailed guidelines in identifying illegal immigrants or to ask a question or register a complaint, write to and