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4/21/08

AP Omits Context of Anti-Immigration Censure

Colo. lawmaker removed from podium over Mexicans remark

(AP)- "A Colorado legislator known for kicking a photographer was ordered to leave the podium of the state House of Representatives on Monday because he called Mexican workers "illiterate peasants."
State Rep. Douglas Bruce, who has a history of provoking controversy, made the comment during debate on a bill that would allow the state to help immigrant workers get temporary federal visas.

But what happened before his comment? AP doesn't say. From Bizjournals:

(Bizjournals.com)- "...Bruce raised concerns about questions about whether the proposal would bring more Mexican "aliens" to the state to tie up lines at hospital emergency rooms. "My kids are already getting enough education about foreign languages at their school," Bruce said.

At that point, Rep. Kathleen Curry, D-Gunnison, who presided over Monday's House proceedings, asked Bruce to tone down his anti-immigration rhetoric or be asked to leave. [I can't find a sound clip anywhere, but more or less she said 'Don't talk about immigration.' Bruce then responded "Are you kicking me out?" and Democrat Curry said more or less 'No, but don't talk about immigration']

But Bruce continued to query Looper about the bill. When Looper asked Bruce if he had actually read the legislation, the lawmaker replied: "I've read it twice," he said. "And the more I read it the more I don't like it...

In context, Bruce's comments were a response to contempt for free speech when he brings up concerns about illegal leaches on public schools and hospitals, a sarcastic quip of exasperation.

***Also note the yahoo link title: "Lawmaker kicks photographer." What does that have to do with anything? Unless of course AP's article is just a smear piece.

Colorado's Gazette is headlining "Bruce calls farmworkers 'illiterate peasants'."

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