"Welcome to Arizona, sir. I'm with the Phoenix Police Department."
"Sir, I noticed when you deplaned that the identification tag on your carry-on appeared to be askew. As you may know, under Arizona law a baggage identification tag cannot be more than 12 degrees off parallel, and it appears to me that yours is more in the 18 to 25 degree range."
"Since I've been forced to detain you in connection with a possible violation of Arizona law, I'll need you to step over here so I can ask you a few questions."
"First, may I have your name? Irving Rosenberg, am I pronouncing that correctly? And you are from where, Mr. Rosenberg? New York City."
"Mr. Rosenberg, I don't like to make sweeping generalizations, but if I might say so you have a very nice profile. To be candid, your profile captured my attention from the moment you got off the plane."
"Mr. Rosenberg, have you always been a swarthy fellow? It's a tan? Deep-sea fishing with friends in California? Do you have any fish inside your carry-on? Can you explain why you don't?"
"Mr. Rosenberg, can you name the nine boroughs of New York City? Yes, that was a trick question, but you did get five out of six."
"Mr. Rosenberg, would you mind taking off your sneakers? It says here they were made in Taipei, is that correct? And would you be kind enough to slip out of that shirt? Vietnam is certainly moving into the mainstream of commerce, isn't it? Let's just take down those pants for a second. Produced in Singapore, eh? I understand that Spanish is one of the languages sometimes spoken by individuals in the transit lounge of Changi Airport, are you aware of that? And now the shorts. Let's have a close look at that tag. It says 'Hecho en Guadalajara,' am I reading that correctly? (Aside, "Bingo")"
"Where did you acquire those shorts, Mr. Rosenberg? Wal-Mart? The one on Paseo Rio Sonora in Hermosillo? The store on Carretera Internacional in Mazatlan? How about the one on Avenido Chalma in Cuautitlan Izcali? Oh, I see. No, I wasn't aware of the new Fishkill location."
"Sir, while you were in California, did you cross the Texas-California border? You're very sharp Mr. Rosenberg. Yes, that's another trick question."
"While on the subject of tamales, do you like them from the freezer or from vendors on the street? Do frijoles come in a bag or on a plate? Have you ever eaten a Chiquita banana?"
"Is salsa a condiment or a dance? 'Both' is an unusually accurate answer, Mr. Rosenberg. Where were you on May 5 in the years 2003 through 2009? Were you using any condiment? Were you dancing in the streets at any time? Was a member of any mariachi ensemble present?"
"What's your position on NAFTA, Mr. Rosenberg? Do you feel it helps your people more than Americans?"
"Have you ever climbed a fence? How high was the fence? Did you climb to the other side of the fence? Did you turn around and go back where you belonged after you climbed the fence?"
"Have you ever looked sideways at Sheriff Joe Arpaio?"
"Have you ever visited a place, or known an individual, with 'San' in its or his name? No sir, Santa Claus would not be embraced by that question."
"Mr. Rosenberg, do you nap in the middle of the day? Do you shade your eyes with a broad brimmed hat?"
"Sir, have you ever picked any item of produce, including but not limited to grapes, avocados, pistachios, oranges, lemons and durians? No, sir, you can eliminate items you may have picked up in Trader Joe's produce department."
"Are you married, Mr. Rosenberg? How frequently do you or your wife mow a lawn, trim a tree, blow leaves or burp someone else's baby?"
"Do you regularly send money to anyone outside the United States? Your daughter in Neuilly-sur-Seine? Anyone south of the border? Your brother-in-law in Tierra del Fuego. Let's move on."
"Mr. Rosenberg, I think I now know everything I need to conclude this conversation."
"Based upon what you have told me, sir, I have a reasonable suspicion that you are an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States. I ask you now to present to me your green card. You're not carrying one? How about your Arizona driver's license? I see. And I suppose you don't have your passport even though you say you traveled to California, right?"
"I want to advise you that under Arizona law your rights to remain silent, to consult with an attorney, and to have an attorney appointed for you if you cannot afford one were waived when you stepped off the plane. However, you will be provided with access to a copy of the Arizona Criminal Code in Braille once you have been processed."
"Mr. Rosenberg -- mi amigo, if I may -- I wish I weren't forced to go down this road, particularly as in many respects you look like one of us. But I want you to know that your color, your Hispanic name and your sad eyes have nothing to do with my actions."
"Unfortunately, the law is the law."
When he is not in custody, Mark can be found at email@example.com