And here's the costume that's supposedly in such bad taste:
"He didn't just cross a border, he crossed a galaxy!" according to the costume's description. "He's got his green card, but it's from another planet! Sure to get some laughs, the Illegal Alien Adult Costume includes an orange prison-style jumpsuit with 'Illegal Alien' printed on the front, an alien mask and a 'green card.'"Apparently, Target is removing the costume from its website after receiving "several" complaints. How many "several" is in this case, I don't know. The important thing is that they've snatched it off the site, and furthermore, the spokesman ingratiatingly claims that they never intended to sell it at all. It was on the website by mistake! (How mysterious! Must be part of an Evil Right-Wing Plot.)
Now the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles will probably be "target"-ing the other retailers that still sell the costume online. (If you're looking for one to wear this year ;o) try walgreens.com, toysrus.com, amazon.com, meijer.com, and buycostumes.com-- but you'd better hurry, before they, too, realize the "mistake" that's been made and yank them down.)
If they're trying to say that immigrants (in general) are "not amused", then I don't believe them. I'm pretty sure my husband-- an immigrant-- wouldn't have a problem with this. But then again, he's here legally. (And at least when he was first living here, he was still termed an "alien"-- a legal alien, but an alien all the same. Anyone living in a country where s/he does not claim citizenship is an alien. I always thought it was kind of fun being able to say-- not that I ever actually said it, but you get the point ;o)-- that I was married to an alien. (g))
What they actually mean is that (some) illegal immigrants are offended-- or, even more likely, some Americans are offended-- those who for whatever reason feel that we should throw open (even more widely) our borders and put down a welcome mat. They're the same ones who feel that it's worth hushing-up the masses the avoid offending the few. Free speech can go to. . . well, you know where.
Some years ago, maybe we should have looked into changing certain regulations regarding temporary work visas, etc.-- but at this point, a lot of us are fed up with the situation. Not the least of that is anger with the inaction of our own government to act upon laws already in place. Act with humanity, yes, but still act! Don't just sit on your hands-- or worse yet, bind the hands of even local law enforcement officials-- and act as though nothing's out of the ordinary. People are sick of feeling that if anyone dares speak up for existing laws (or see the logic behind them), s/he will be accused of racism, bigotry, and every other mean and petty thing.
If people can get a laugh out of this silly Halloween costume, I say let them have it. I don't see what all the fuss is about. It's not that original an idea-- not that "edgy", is it? As for anyone offended by the costume, I recommend cultivating a sense of humor. It really does make life more pleasant.