Well Played, @DanielDPortado, Inventor of Self-Deportation: You Rock, @laloalcaraz

Feb 1, 2012
9:26 PM

Ha! We got to give it up to @DanielDPortado, who during the summer was crapping all over our Twitter feed with some angry tweets. Well, now we are breathing again and now we are seeing the genius behind the original idea, the fabulous @laloalcaraz and his writing partner Esteban Zul. It doesn't hurt to see the show on @maddow tonight.


Yes, we were slow to get in on the joke, but now that we are in on it, we just have to say: BRAVO to Daniel, Lalo, and of course @MexicanMitt.

So whenever you hear Mitt Romney use the word "self-deport," it was a joke. It was satire. And it is brilliant. Here is the real story behind it:

As the radio program “This American Life” reminded its audience on Tuesday, there is an argument to be made that the term self-deportation was invented in 1994 by two Mexican-American satirists, Lalo Alcaraz and Esteban Zul. That year, “sickened” by a ballot initiative known as Proposition 187, which aimed to prohibit illegal immigrants from using state-run hospitals and schools in California, the comedians began posing as conservative activists who backed the measure.

The two men started a satirical media campaign to support the initiative, faxing radio and television stations a fake news release that touted the benefits of “self-deportation centers” and invited reporters seeking more information to call a Latino Republican and “militant self-deportationist” named Daniel D. Portado. Eventually the men founded “Hispanics Against Liberal Takeover,” or Halto, and produced a mock radio ad, in which Portado claimed to support “California Gov. Pete Wilson’s self-deportation message.”