‘Illegal Alien' costume draws mixed reaction in SLC

‘Illegal Alien' costume draws mixed reaction in SLC

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Local Latino community leaders are dismissing the controversy behind an "illegal alien" Halloween costume. The costume includes an alien mask, orange jumpsuit with "Illegal Alien" printed on it, and a "green card."

"I think we're just hyperventilating over this issue," Proyecto Latino de Utah Director Tony Yapias told KSL Newsradio Tuesday. "Come on, we need to have a sense of humor. Now days, we nitpick everything."

Some people KSL interviewed in downtown Salt Lake City also didn't seem to have a problem with the costume.

"No, it's not offensive for me," Bruno Barreto said.

"It's depicting an alien: from outer space," Richard Andelin said.

Others, like Susan Grant, said they were offended.

"It's demonizing. It's what we saw in World War II when we called people in Japan, ‘Japs,'" Grant said. "I don't think that demonizing a set of people -- in particular this group which is struggling, clearly -- is particularly funny or necessarily appropriate."

Online retailers: including Amazon, Target and Walgreens, swiftly removed the costume from their websites Monday and Tuesday. Activist groups like the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles had been calling the retailers, requesting action.

E-mail: aadams@ksl.com

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