Who's the immigrant and who's the American? Rep. Luis Gutierrez posed that question in a quiz for Congress on Wednesday, designed to point up the folly of Arizona's harsh immigration law. Then on The Ed Show, Ed Schultz put the same quiz to Gutierrez.
Gutierrez, a Chicago Democrat, took to the House floor with a sequence of pictures showing pairs of celebrities. For instance, he showed Justin Bieber and his girlfriend, Selena Gomez. Which is the immigrant, and which was born in America, he asked. Gutierrez posed the same question for other pairs, including the basketball stars Tony Parker and Jeremy Lin, and the journalists Ted Koppel and Geraldo Rivera.
The answer, of course, is that the first of the two in each case—Bieber, Parker, and Koppel—are the ones who were born overseas, while the second of each pair was born here. Based on the names and appearances of the people in question, you might well have guessed the reverse, of course.
Gutierrez's point was to demonstrate the absurdity of Arizona's immigration law, which requires law enforcement to ask for proof of citizenship if they have reason to suspect someone is here illegally. Much of the law was struck down by the Supreme Court Monday.
"Justin, when you perform in Phoenix, remember to bring your papers," Gutierrez told Bieber.
And just to bring home the point, Ed Schultz posed the same quiz for Gutierrez on the air Wednesday night. Schultz showed pictures of the baseball players Alex Rodriguez and Jason Bay, as well as the actors Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling. Again, the second of each pair might seem more likely to have been born in the U.S., based on their name and looks. But in fact, A-Rod and Mendes are the natural born Americans, while Bay and Gosling were both born in Canada.
How did Gutierrez do? He got Mendes right, but whiffed on A-Rod.
But he nailed the larger point. "There's limited resources," Gutierrez said. "And I want the police going after drug dealers, murderers, rapists, gang-bangers, bad people. Not the Windex ... lady cleaning some window at midnight at some store."