By now, you've probably seen one of the many stories about the controversial 'illegal alien' costume that has drawn the ire of immigrant rights groups. The story has been covered in most major news outlets, including the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, MSNBC, among others.
The costume is an orange jumpsuit with the words "ILLEGAL ALIEN" on the front, a space alien mask and a plastic green card. There is also an alternative mask of a space alien with a droopy black mustache.
Target was one of many retailers that pulled the costume from its website and apologized following complaints. The NC-based Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, which advocates for greater immigration enforcement, meanwhile called on supporters to go out and buy the costume as a statement to “stand up to censorship.”
Richard Zagone, a Chicago mask designer, told USA Today he was trying to be ironic when he and his brother came up with the idea. Little did he know the stir he’d create when people started complaining about the costumes being sold on major retailer websites like Walgreens, Amazon and others.
Most quit selling the costume after complaints by groups such as Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, whose director called the costume "distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform."
Joshua Thomas, a spokesman for Target, told the Associated Press, that the stores never intended to sell the outfit but included it in its online offerings by mistake, he said.
William Gheen, executive of ALIPAC, put a costume on eBay, according to USA Today. Bids went to $116 before eBay pulled it.
"This is a spooky Halloween because, apparently, I no longer live in a country of free markets, free speech or free political expression," Gheen said.
You can still pick up the costume in Charlotte. According to Fox Charlotte, Morris Costumes on Monroe Road has seen a surge of sales of the costume since controversy spread.
Owner Philip Morris told Fox he hasn’t had any negative feedback yet and continues to sell the illegal alien gear.
"It's all in a sense of humor, we're looking at our own selves and laughing," Morris said.
(AP Photo/J Pat Carter)