VIDEO: In 2001, McInnis Endorsed Racial Profiling in Immigration

(And it just keeps getting worse for McInnis… – promoted by Colorado Pols)

FYI – I dug up this speech and video after McInnis’s announcement this morning on the Arizona law triggered some deep memory from when I was working on Capitol Hill. I remembered him giving a speech on racial profiling, and after a bit of research, came up with it – and wow, is it even more explicit than I remembered. We will be reviewing this newly unearthed speech and discussing the political fallout of it and McInnis’s statement on the Arizona law tomorrow (Thursday) on the morning show on AM760. Tune in. – D

As a follow up to the news this morning that GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Scott McInnis wants to implement an Arizona-style racial profiling law in Colorado, I want to point out that McInnis in 2001 already went on record explicitly supporting overt racial profiling. Though this has (somehow) not been widely reported, on November 7, 2001, McInnis gave an impassioned floor speech explicitly endorsing the use of racial profiling on immigration matters – or, what he euphemistically terms “threat profiling.” You can watch the video of that speech here. Here are some key excerpts:

The first matter I would like to discuss at some length would be profiling and the need for profiling for the national security of this country

I have seen, and I have been very disappointed and discouraged recently, about some people playing what I would call the race card against profiling. We have to talk in a very serious tone and with thoughts of the consequences of doing things and not doing things, about tools of enforcement that we can utilize within  the borders of our country and outside the borders of our country and for the people that want to cross the borders of our country and for the people that want to leave the borders of our country, tools that we can use to help secure the national security. One of those tools is profiling

So how do we build a profile? What kind of profile am I talking about? I think, for example, ethnic background is a legitimate component of it…I call (it) “threat profiling.” That is what I am advocating here, threat profiling…

What I am saying here is, for God’s sakes, if we allow profiling for marketing purposes, if we allow profiling out there in our schools, if we allow profiling in every step of our lives, why do we not or why are we resistant at all to profiling to protect the national security of the United States of America?…

All I am saying is it is a huge mistake, a huge mistake for us to allow political pressure by a very select number of people to give any kind of commitment that we will not allow ethnic background to be considered as a component of a threat


Once we begin to use ethnic profiling as a component, one of several components to build a profile, I think it is very legitimate. I think it is smart. Obviously, it is constitutionally protected…

So I urge that my colleagues take into consideration and run away from the politically correct theory out there, and to take into consideration just how much we depend on threat profiling for the protection of our society.

More after the jump.

You can read the whole speech here. So while it’s stunning to hear McInnis so forcefully endorse Arizona’s racial profiling law today, and while its shocking to hear him say he wants to implement a similar law here in Colorado, it’s consistent with his legislative history. McInnis has long been an ardent supporter of racial profiling – though he tries to make a semantic distinction between racial profiling and “threat profiling,” he was adamant that we must profile people on the basis of race and ethnicity. The record on that is very clear – just listen to him say it over and over again in this speech.

We’ll be playing clips of McInnis’s 2001 speech on AM760 tomorrow and discussing the political ramifications of McInnis’s new declaration about the Arizona law tomorrow (Thursday) on AM760. Tune in from 7-10am on your radio dial or on the web at

48 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. sufimarie says:

    “People are using the race card about profiling.”


  2. ClubTwitty says:

    That should be a hit.

  3. ClubTwitty says:

    They sent him over here to try and  clean up.

    (Yeah, that was meant for here).

  4. Julie says:

    For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 28, 2010

    Contact: Chandra Russo,, (720) 273-2022

    CIRC Condemns Scott McInnis Endorsement of Arizona Law

    “Maybe McInnis doesn’t realize that 20% of his own electorate is Latino”

    COLORADO – Today, Scott McInnis, a candidate for governor of Colorado came out in support of the Arizona law 1070, which requires that police officers arrest anyone who cannot prove their immigration status on the spot. Julien Ross, Executive Director of the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, issued the following statement:

    “We find it abhorrent to see Mr. McInnis support a law designed to profile immigrant Americans. Maybe Mr. McInnis doesn’t realize that 20% of his own electorate is Latino and they are in line to be profiled by the Arizona law if they go one state over.

    “Mr. McInnis must be aware of the reaction that this law has generated all over the country, prompting 10 straight days of protests and an economic boycott of the state of Arizona. We are surprised that he would support a law that would destroy any economic advantage this state might have gained over the last year of recovery.

    “In this day and age, it is not rare to see a politician blatantly pandering to the xenophobic right-wing of his own party. But it is very rare to see one that is doing so at the cost of his own state. We are hoping that Mr. McInnis will re-evaluate his position and learn to represent all of Colorado.”


    The Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC) is a statewide membership based coalition founded in 2002 to build a unified statewide voice to improve the lives of immigrants and refugees in Colorado and the United States.

  5. Republican 36 says:

    Arizona Senate Bill 1070 not only requires peace officers

    where reasonable suspicion exists that a person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States, a reasonable attempt shall be made, when practicable, to determine the immigration status of the person, except if the determination may hinder or obstruct an investigation. Any person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released.

    but most of the bill goes after businesses that have hired illegal aliens. Upon a first conviction a business looses its license to do business for three to ten days depending on the circumstances and if there is a second offense during the time the business is on probation for the first offense the business looses all of its licenses permanently. In other words, 1070 puts them out of business. The bill provides for some defenses but the bill’s primary purpose is to make sure illegal aliens are unemployed. The economic consequences of this are obvious. Mr. McInnis is endorsing stripping our rural farms and ranchers of workers.

    So how many Colorado car dealers, real estate firms, construction companies, mining companies, paving companies, resturants, farms and ranches is Mr. McInnis willing to close based on his support and apparent desire to impose the same law here in Colorado.

    • WesternSlopeThought says:

      but business is starting to boycott Arizona because of their un-American and unconstitutional law, costing the state jobs and money.  This is what McInnis wants for Colorado?  Good luck with that.  When Arizona voted to not honor or recognize MLK Day, it cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars from canceled conventions, a canceled Superbowl, canceled investments and the like.  

      McInnis has proven that he is his own worst enemy with such ignorance.

      • Steve Harvey says:

        Colorado is 20% hispanic, it’s not good business strategy, it’s not good political strategy, it’s not moral, it’s not functional…, but, apparantly, it is very, very Republican.

        • ajb says:

          I’m not so sure about this.

          I think we’ll see schisms within the Democratic Party and all sorts of strange bedfellows if/when legislation is proposed.

          • Steve Harvey says:

            I’ve always opposed the xenophobic branch of organized labor, and will continue to do so. Ultimately, we should all strive to be global humanists first, and defenders of our fortresses of wealth against incursions by those less fortunate second (not to dismiss the injustice of American employers exploiting the opportunity to suppress wages, which is a separable issue). But, for the time being, it is a Republican movement and a Republican banner being waved. To the extent that Democratic factions get on board, I will oppose them just as adamantly.

  6. thethinker says:

    showed some real thought and realistic thinking about how to solve some of the problems of the country.  Unlike those who freak out at even the thought of “racial profiling”.

    The vast majority of illegal immigrants in Arizona are Latino.  So, if our immigration laws are enforced, the majority of those impacted would be Latino.

    Let me ask, what immigration laws do readers support and what means to enforce them?  Or are you just open border advocates like the Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition which opposes any attempts by anyone to enforce immigration laws.  

    To not enforce immigration laws because the majority of the people breaking those laws are Latino, is giving that race preferential treatment and inherently racist.

    I believe the negative impact on civil rights of other Americans and our nation are greater then the impact of the “possible” racial profiling (which is not part of the Arizona law).

    • MADCO says:

      kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out.

    • redstateblues says:

      with getting pulled over for no other reason than the color of your skin, being asked to show your driver’s license (if you happen to have it, or potentially being arrested and having the state figure out if you’re a citizen or not if you don’t have it) as long as it results in the state deporting some more illegal immigrants?

      Since you asked, my idea of enforcement:

      #1) If the only crimes someone has committed included entering illegally or working illegally, that person should not be arrested or deported. Focus on dangerous criminals, and other law breakers.

      #2) Tighter border security. Encourage people to enter legally, and expedite the immigration process through probationary worker visas or other programs.

      #3) Comprehensive Federal immigration reform that allows people to immigrate here legally, strengthens the border and the men and women who patrol it, and does not allow for quotas or racial profiling.

      • Ralphie says:

        That would be illegal.

        You’re going to get pulled over for a broken taillight.

        And if you think your taillight works, a nightstick can fix that in a hurry.

        • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

          I note they use the expression “reasonable suspicion”. I believe the current standard is “probable cause”.

          What is the salient difference?

          Any lawyers out there?

          • Steve Harvey says:

            created a lower standard of “reasonable suspicion” for what are called “Terry Stops” (for the case in which it was introduced), in order to allow the police to pat down suspects who they stop merely due to “suspicious” behavior (on the basis that being able to do so is essential to police officer safety).

            This is a misapplication of that jurisprudence.

    • Go Blue says:

      What you just wrote is the equivalent to “I’m not racist. I just hate brown people.” Even Tancredo doesn’t think this is sensible yet you’re defending McInnis and promoting racial profiling – get your stupid fucking head checked.

      If not, get the fuck out of my country. I’m sick and tired of you Confederates hanging around.

      • redstateblues says:

        If you had read any of that user’s posts in the past, you would know that thethinker is a Latino who disagrees with the Democratic Party on immigration. It’s the only thing this particular user posts about, and they are entitled to their opinion so maybe don’t stereotype.

        Disagree if you want, but try to do it respectfully.

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      So lets just get a DNA sample from every male age 15 – 50 in this country. (Now do you understand why you comment is stupid?)

    • Steve Harvey says:

      that we have a Constitution, which includes a Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment provides a guarantee to all people in this country to be “secure…against unreasonable searches and seizures” except with “probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation.” The Fifth Amendment guarantees that anyone being deprived of life, liberty, or property (including being detained under suspicion of having committed a crime) will receive “due process of law.” And the 14th Amendment guarantees “equal protection,” which has been interpreted to mean that, regardless of your race or gender or ethnicity, you will be treated with the precise same constititutional guarantees.

      That means that it is blatantly unconstitutional (and has been, and, I believe, will again be held to be unconstitutional) to stop people on the basis of their ethnicity because their is some presumption that people of that ethnicity are more likely to have committed a particular crime.

      What is it with the Far Right, that you constantly crow about what enthusiastic defenders of the Constitution you are, in order to oppose things that you call (but actually aren’t at all) totalitarian, and yet at the same time are by far and away the quickest and eagerest to trample all over the same Constitution whenever it obstructs your desire to institute the very police state that that Constitution is designed to prevent?

    • Tazistan JenTazistan Jen says:

      Illegal immigration would slow to a trickle within months if we were serious about enforcing laws preventing employers from hiring undocumented aliens.  We are apparently never going to be serious about  that, because employers – and consumers – would suffer.  

      So instead we’ll continue to hassle a few individuals to make ourselves feel tough and leave the underlying dynamic unchanged.

      • However, I’ll be the first to admit that the laws we have aren’t sufficient as-is.  First, the penalties are too weak to deter hiring illegals.  Second, our current verification system is too weak to provide accurate results.  Third, we don’t have a comprehensive system giving employers the access they need for verification.  And fourth, we don’t have the enforcement staff to make it all work.

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          which would convert millions of illegals to legal taxpaying citizens and move to do a better job of protecting our borders.  Immigration reform would definitely help.

          • If we require and enforce employment verification at the employer level, serious discussions about adjusting immigration quotas has to happen almost simultaneously.

            I’m not a fan of providing an immediate path to citizenship for illegals, but certainly turning at least most of them into legal taxpaying immigrants has to be part of the solution.  The details of that part of reform are largely irrelevant, though, compared to the fact that employers and undocumented workers alike will need to have a stable path forward out of the current situation.

    • BlueCat says:

      get hassled and interfered with and forced to carry papers with them all time time because of their looks. I’m guessing the thinker doesn’t fit that category and is OK with it because it won’t be happening to him or her.  

      So there should be two levels of citizenship, one group with a free pass to go about its business undisturbed (thinker’s category) and one that has to be ready to prove they are citizens anytime, anywhere, on any law enforcement officer’s whim. Very thoughtful and oh so American?


    • sxp151 says:

      When your lily-white skin gets a hint of a tan, and you suddenly end up looking like a “reasonably suspicious” person, and the police treat you like crap, will you change your mind then? You just might.

      So just to ensure such a horrible situation can never happen, make sure you look like a white dude at all times. Maybe wear an armband that proclaims how proud you are of being white. Maybe shave your head so your hair doesn’t curl up and start to suggest some alternate heritage. And just to be on the safe side, why don’t you wear an old military uniform and goosestep around the square?

      White pride! It’s not just for Nazis anymo…Oh wait it still is.

      • Pam Bennett says:

        A hippie (no one should look like a hippie now)

        Bad haircut

        Seriously 1980’s porn mustache

        Jamie Jameson

        One of your not favorite in-laws

        The guy who ruined your fishing trip

        The guy who took your boy/girl friend

        The store owner who shorted your meat order

        The woman who ate tofu in front of you

        You should be deported just for fun

  7. WesternSlopeThought says:

    You and the video of the racist profiler made national news tonight on the Rachel Maddow Show.

    “The U.S. economy will bottom in the next two years. It will need 15 to 17 years to recover fully, if past recessions and depressions can be used as guides.”  -Scott McInnis

    “Three or four years from now, we’re not going to have a conversation about jobs and all of that kind of stuff.”  -Scott McInnis

  8. americus says:

    News alert: All those who can prove they were born in the USA will get nice brown shirts if McGinnis is elected.  If you turn in an illegal–he’ll give you a nice pair of jack boots to go with!


    It’s time to take a step back and reflect about where this country is going. There is nothing vaguely American about this round up in AZ. How can republicans complain about big government taking away our freedom while giving away all of our 4th amendment rights in the same breath?  Since when is bigotry patriotic? I can’t think of anything more relevant than the words of Pastor Martin NiemГ¶ller about the inactivity of German intellectuals following the Nazi rise to power and the purging of their chosen victims:

    “THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,

    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

    THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,

    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

    THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,

    and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

    THEN THEY CAME for me

    and by that time no one was left to speak up.”


  9. Half Glass FullHalf Glass Full says:

    Well, “obviously”! Just keep saying that a lot and it will come true – and rainbow-colored unicorns will sprinkle fairy dust everywhere.

    • sloanslake says:


      You know what the BEST part of all this anti-hispanic / anti-mexican / anti-immigrant hyperbole from McInnis? The fact that he clearly doesn’t realize the very name of our state “COLORADO” is a spanish word or that our state’s first settlers / ranchers / farmers were mexicans.

      McInnis, is either a moron and/or massively ignorant.

  10. fragiledem60 says:

    nope not at all, especialy if you have a molestache like that one in your past! Lets hope that one is not our gov.

  11. Gilpin Guy says:

    on this old speech by McInnis last night.  He has overnight become the spokesman for the extremists.  It might help him in his primary but in the general not so much.

  12. Laughing Boy says:

    He’s not talking about immigration.

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