Anti-immigration group may be fibbing about ‘offensive’ costume sales
Anti-immigrant crusader promises to appear on TV in controversial outfit; Fox News calls costume ‘fantastic’
An anti-illegal immigration group says that an “illegal alien” Halloween costume that is causing an uproar has sold out in all online stores — but it’s unclear whether that’s the case, or whether public pressure to stop selling the costume has worked.
Immigrant and Latino advocacy groups erupted in outrage over the weekend as news spread that several chain stores and online retailers were selling an “illegal alien costume,” an orange prison jump-suit with the words “illegal alien” stamped across it. Accompanying the jumpsuit is a small cardboard card marked “Green Card.”
“A few hours after the national organization ALIPAC called for supporters to make the controversial illegal alien Halloween costume pulled off shelves by Target the ‘Most Popular Costume of Halloween 2009,’ the item has sold out in all online stores!” ALIPAC, or Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, declared in a press release Monday.
However, RAW STORY has found it can still be purchased through Amazon.com. An item marked “Alien Adult Costume,” matching the description of the illegal alien outfit, can be purchased “at an external website,” according to the Amazon listing.
And the same item, under the name “Illegal Alien Costume,” is now listed as “currently unavailable.” It is not clear whether the item sold out or was pulled from Amazon’s catalog.
Over the weekend chain store Target came under pressure to stop selling the costume on its Web site. The retailer agreed to pull the costume, and told the press it had “inadvertently uploaded” the costume to its Web site due to a “data entry error.”
A search of the Target Web site Monday yielded no results for the controversial outfit. Other retailers said to have stocked the item were Walgreens and Toys ‘R’ Us. A search of their online catalogs Monday yielded no results.
In a press release, ALIPAC President William Gheen said he had purchased one of the costumes and would wear it to a TV interview “if invited.”
The costume has raised the ire of immigration activists. It’s “distasteful, mean-spirited and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform,” Angelica Salas of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles told the NBC affiliate in San Francisco.
But, on Fox & Friends Monday, host Steve Doocey argued there’s nothing wrong with the costume.
“Do you think there’s really anything the matter with that?” he asked. “It’s a joke! Where’s your sense of humor, America?”
Co-host Brian Kilmeade described the costume as “fantastic.”
The following video was broadcast on Fox News, October 19, 2009, and uploaded to YouTube by ThinkProgress.