SB 1070 Solution: The Arizona Passport T-Shirt

I wonder if Russell Pearce would endorse this Tee?

Even though federal Judge Susan R. Bolton enjoined the most dangerous provisions of Arizona's "breathing-while-brown law" (a.k.a., SB 1070) on July 28, that doesn't mean Arizona cops are not going to stop you just because you look Latino. Hell, they do that all the time!

Sure they need a pretext, like not coming to a complete stop, jaywalking, or some other trifle. But in the Old Pueblo, for instance, the Tucson Police Department will turn you over to la migra in a San Francisco second if you don't have any "papers." Just check out this YouTube video, if you don't believe me. Or this one, if the first doesn't suffice.

And it's not just TPD. Why do you think the U.S. Department of Justice is suing Sheriff Joe Arpaio? Because he's been doing racial and ethnic profiling from day one with his anti-immigrant sweeps. He knows it. The DOJ knows it. And that's why he's withholding docs from the agency.

UCLA MBA student Jorge Hernandez has a partial solution to the problem, at least for folks who are Hispanic or look Hispanic: The Arizona Passport T-Shirt, so you can wear your papers right on your chest, with a note on the other side that says, "Back off Arizona, yo soy legit!"

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For Hernandez, a naturalized American citizen of Colombian birth, it started as a joke on his Facebook page. People went wild for it, and he decided to roll out the Tees. He's been selling them for a couple of weeks now and recently posted the above video, which he shot with the help of his friends. (That's Hernandez playing the lead character "Jose.")

Before you label Hernandez a Cali-based Zona-basher, you should know that Hernandez says he lived in Arizona for several years, was married here, naturalized in Tucson, and got his undergraduate degree from UofA. He visits Arizona three or four times a year, and considers Arizona a "second home."

"I love the state," he told me. "But when SB 1070 passed, I thought, `This is getting a little ridiculous'...That was sort of the last straw for me."

I dig the concept and the video. And who knows, maybe even SB 1070's pimp, state Senator Russell Pearce, could get behind this one. Though he'd probably want something more permanent for Latinos. You know, like a tattoo on the forearm. Or perhaps an icon to mimic the yellow star of old.

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