Seth MacFarlane likens Arizona's immigration law to Nazi Germany

Seth-MacFarlaneImage Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesHe’s not the first one to do it. Just the latest. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane has spoken out against the Arizona immigration law that allows police officers to request proof that people are in the United States legally if they have “reasonable suspicion” that those people aren’t. “Nobody but the Nazis ever asked anybody for their papers,” MacFarlane told Reuters Television. “Walking down the street, a cop can come up to you and say ‘May I see your papers?’ — I think they should be required to ask that question in German if the law sticks around.”

MacFarlane said he couldn’t fathom how the legislation passed. “I don’t know, people are getting crazier maybe…When I read that, I said, ‘Wow, that’s more shocking and egregious than anything we’ve ever done on the show, and it’s a law.'”

It’s nice that MacFarlane weighed in, but really, we’re just waiting for Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s take on South Park.

Comments (92 total) Add your comment
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  • Billy

    I love MacFarlane and Family Guy, but he is really showing his ignorance here. There has been a federal law for over half a century requiring resident aliens to carry their green cards and present them upon request. All Arizona did is to adopt the federal law at the state level.

    • Jon

      While resident aliens are required to carry their green cards Federal law does not require American citizens to carry any id.

      • Jan

        I beg to differ, we carry what is called a drivers license or if you don’t drive an identification card.

      • topher

        You can beg to differ all you want, but the fact is there is NO federal law that requires American citizens to carry identification.

      • Fenius

        Is this “resident alien” an American citizen yet? If not, then yes, carry proof.

    • Mike

      Billy is absolutely correct. I will add that they also are not allowed to stop somebody just because they think they might be illegal. Law enforcement can only ask for immigration papers if they come to that “reasonable suspicion” in the course a traffic stop or other law-enforcement action. The Nazi references are so over the top – it’s not like SS Officers are going to be roaming the streets stopping random people and asking for papers.

      • JP

        Yes Mike they can stop them it doesnt have to be within in a traffic violation, etc. The law is “Police may arrest a person if there is probable cause that the person is an unlawful alien”. It’s up the the cops to decide what the probable cause is. This is where racial profiling will come into effect.

      • Leslie

        No JP, if you read the actual law, you will see that the questioning on immigration status can only happen in the course of a lawful stop of some kind. So there has to be a reason other than suspicion of immigration status to stop them in the first place.

      • Liz

        Clearly you’ve never heard of “driving while black”, where police pulled blacks over for driving in white neighborhoods even though they were not doing anything wrong. If you think police cannot stop somebody without a lawful reason (or simply make one up later), you are incredibly naive.


        Some of you have some very geneneric and shallow points of view. First off just because something is the law doesn’t make it right, it was once the law to massacre millions of Jews in Germany, but was that law correct? Second, if you actually read the law you and have the ability to comprehend it, you can see how badly written it is. I personally am friends with Phoenix police officers who don’t even want to enforce this law or for it to go into effect because of how morally wrong it is and how all it is going to do is create mistrust between the law enforcement in our communities and tear families apart, if you arent from Arizona and you don’t know the real reason this law was passed than I suggest you read up on such things. the real reason this law was signed by Jan Brewer is for money. Her political advisors are lobbyists for the cca (private prison’s corperation) as you may or may not know, AZ has the highest amount of private prisons. The more illegals they can encarcerate, the more tax payer money that our corrupt politicians and privately owned prisons can recieve from the federal government out of yours and my pocket. so get to learning, kids!!! The are facts that have been proven.

    • Luddite

      Yeah, but I don’t think the federal law requires police officers to demand to see the papers of anyone who LOOKS like an illegal immigrant.

      • Huds

        And just what does an illegal immigrant look like anyway?

    • Brian

      His line “Nobody but the Nazis ever asked anybody for their papers” is also patently false. Many countries currently have laws that allow this sort of thing. Just another case of someone implementing Godwin’s Law. I’d expect a better opposition from him than this.

      • marrymyfriend

        crime doesn’t pay

    • Lee

      You’re calling him ignorant? do you not realize the outcome of a law like this? it gives lenience to profiling.. and gives the gov’t headway to pass laws such as the ndaa. its a step forward towards a police state. fema has already set up in the continental us.. i mean its ignorant not to have qualms about sv1070 and if you dont see the problems in it look to the ndaa and even the patriot act.. the federal gov’t is setting up for checkmate and wiping their butts with the bill of rights.

  • Eyeball

    I wouldn’t say that it is more shocking and egregious than having Stewie trap an infant in a playhouse and then set it on fire.

    • John A

      It is when you realise that Family Guy is satire. When it isn’t satire it’s purely dark humour; however, the key word there is humour. Arizona is not being facetious about its laws.

      • whatevs

        Well, Seth makes the argument that this law is more shocking than anything shown on Family Guy, which it isn’t.

  • Monty

    They (Parker and Stone) did an episode on immigration. Its the Goo-Back episode (THEY TOOK OUR JOBS!).

    • Ceballos

      I think you meant to say, “They tirrrkk errrr JERRRBBSS!!”

  • John

    Another bit of ignorance here: Nazi Germany is far and away not the only place where the police had the right to stop people and ask for papers. In most of Central Asia, everyone carries their passports with them at all times as IDs, and police stops are regular daily life. Get an education, Seth.

  • DH

    Ah, yes, another ignorant Hollywood elite. Try living here when you aren’t even sure you are still in America becuase no one speaks English! Try livining where all of your tax dollars go to support those who shouldn’t even be entitled to benefits get the red carpet treatment. I am tired of supporting freeloaders. And since when is ILLEGAL being racist? Illegal, is illegal, is illegal. Plus, unlike Nazi germany, law enforcement must have a probable cause in porder to ask for documentation. Like the earlier poster stated, they should be carrying it anyway!

    • Kristal

      “livining” – That doesn’t look like an English word to me.

      • MikeS

        Kristal, sounds like “probable cause” to me! DH, can’t spell in the English language? Let’s see your papers!

    • Huds

      Except this law will get you arrested if you don’t have the papers to prove you are an American citizen or are here legally because the law makes the presumption that you are illegal and therefore trespassing unless you can provide proof that you are not. Guilty until proven innocent. In this country you are not required to carry identification if you are an American citizen. So this law makes it all too easy for cops to detain citizens just because they look Mexican or in some other way like an “non-American” what ever that is. Is is a very bad law and antithetical to American law and culture.

      • Fenius

        If a policeman pulls over a man speeding and the man has no driver’s license, he has broken the law and made himself suspect. If the man has no proof of identification and can’t speak english, then hey, ask him if he’s legal and request proof. Lets face it, the Mexican illegals are the problem! So yes, profile the hell out of them. If a legal Mexcican immigrant is pulled over and shows a driver’s license, they will be let go just like any white or black person(maybe with a ticket, but still free). You kind of people will be the death of America as we know it… well its already unrecognizable, so have at it.

  • Nathan

    May I see your papers mein frau? Arizona; The new Fatherland.

  • Chris

    I thought Matt and Trey were on the record a long time ago; “They took ‘er job!”

  • outside agitator

    in the past only the Border Patrol could ask for proof of citizenship with reasonable cause. now local law enforcement can do the same. that’s because illegal immigration is ILLEGAL and cops should investigate those breaking that law, same as any other. Nazis? get real. that’s just uninformed hysterical hyperbole. if a cop can ask to see your car’s registration, surely he can ask for your ID, too.

    • JP

      No one is saying that illegal immigration isn’t illegal. Now cops can go up to any latino in AZ and ask for an ID and make up probable cause. Its called racial profiling. It will happen.

      • Ant

        They can also go to any caucasion, african american, asian, indian, etc and ask for their papers. Nazis were discriminating against Jews…all AZ is trying to do is verify that the individual is a lawful resident.

      • KP

        @Ant: They could ask for papers from anyone, but they won’t. If you honestly think the Arizona police are going to ask a white person with no accent for their papers you’re kidding yourself.

      • Jan

        It may happen, but you better being carrying papers. I will carry papers if necessary. I am sick and tired of this debate. People the illegals MUST go!!!!! NO AMNESTY!!!!! GO HOME IF YOU DON’ LIKE IT!

      • yrusoignorant?

        @KP, Ok, so you’re saying the cops won’t stop a white person with no accent but do you really think that if they stop a hispanic person and hear that he has no accent, they’re still going to ask for ID? This law didn’t magically turn all people wearing a badge into racists and mexican haters. These officers are on the front lines and see this crap every day. Arresting illegals that are committing CRIMES. Not just the crime of being here illegally, but real crimes that would put anyone in jail. The most frustrating part of that is we have two choices: Deport them, in which case they’ll be back within the week or put them into our already overcrowded prison system and make the American Taxpayers fund their detainment. Either way, we’re getting screwed here, wouldn’t you say? Look, I get why they want to come here, Mexico is not a great place to live. But do it legally, and assimilate into the American culture. Don’t go to a rally against this law and wave the MEXICAN FLAG!! How is that showing me that you have ANY loyalty to America? This whole thing has been blown so far out of proportion and all it took was one rabble rouser to cry “racist” and we get every friggin liberal do-gooder hollywood celebrity crying foul over it. It makes me sick.

      • Fenius

        READ THE LAW MORON!!! you make comments without even knowing what the law states. JP, you are an idiot if I have ever seen one. We should be taking people like you and tossing you over the border. If anything, we are waaaaaaay too nice to criminals. Poeple like you should hope someone like me is never in power, you think its scary now!? Before you form an opinion, go read the law! Go live in Arizona and experience what they do! AHHHHHHHHHH!

  • Brian

    Just not sure what constitutes “reasonable suspicion” that someone is an illegal immigrant That they look Mexican? What does that mean? Couldn’t there be illegal immigrants from any foreign country walking around the USA? Will towheaded blonds get asked for papers on suspicion they’re illegal Scandinavian immigrants?

  • topher

    If only there was a website we could go to debate these controversial political issues.

  • Cary

    Don’t blame the Arizona legislation here. They didn’t start this problem. ILLEGAL immigrants, and those who facillitate their existence in this country, did. If this weren’t a problem, there would be no law. There’s no law on the books that says you’re not allowed to floss your sleeping neighbor’s teeth with an alligator, because it’s not a problem.

    • Brian

      Alligators don’t make good floss.

    • KP

      Just because a problem exists, doesn’t mean that the government can fix it by any means necessary. Government still has to follow rules and regulations set forth by our constitution and there should be no law that basically promotes racial profiling. The ends don’t always justify the means.

      • Fenius

        The constitution does not protect illegal invaders. Educate yourself before making comments please. The rest of us would appreciate it.

    • Diz

      Except that illegals do the crappy jobs white folks are too good to do.

  • Brett

    Big difference, Seth: In Arizona, they’re trying to find people who have entered the country illegally. If found, they’ll be deported. In Germany, they were trying to find “undesirables” who were later killed.

  • Matt

    The problem with all this, you KNOW there are going to be that select bunch of dirty cops who go around harrassing people that aren’t caucasian, and if you don’t think so, you don’t know anything about this country.

    • JP

      100% agree. It used to be WWB and now its WWL- Walking While Latino

    • Melinda65

      And if it weren’t for this “new” law, said dirty cops would sit around discussing knitting and Twilight?

      • angel

        they have a legal means now, before they didnt.

    • topher

      There already is that bunch of dirty cops in Arizona… Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his goons at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which is currently under federal investigation for racial profiling, among a number of other illegal actions.

      • KP

        And you don’t think this new law is going to add fuel to the fire for those idiots and create that situation in even more precincts and counties?

      • topher

        I completely agree that’s what’s going to happen.

    • Fenius

      And police who cross the line will be dealt with!! Hello!! havent you seen how police brutality is dealt with these days? They are fired and often fined or jailed! Cops have to ride a real thin line, so thin that they cant even do their job and are not even allowed to be human. You have the same expectations for politicians when it comes to being truthful? Arpaio is one that is actually doing his job and look, he’s under investigation for it. You liberal namby pams are destroying America. No surprise that JP and KP, moron central, weighed in here with their sissy ignorance. Yes, make sure they dont violate people’s rights, but stop getting in their way unnecessarily.

      • Bouchera

        To change the steysm, study anything u like, if legal degree, well and good. Join politics and become a leader. U can change the steysm. As an officer, u r a pigmy and even a slave to the steysm u head or part of.TN Sheshan was in IAS for nearly 4 decades. He could nt do anything to change the steysm suppose he disliked that. Out of IAS, he became EC. A consitutional authority under no govt or politician. Right under President only.Seen and assured of such powers, he exercised it to bring certain changes in the electoral law like Voters card.After nearly 40 years, that too, out of IAS.

  • I’m sorry, but….

    U.S. Citizens are required by law to carry identification and law enforcement officials are allowed by law to ask you to identify yourself for any reason at any time. This law is not even requiring they become citizens – even alien registration papers will do, you just have to be able to present them. We here in Arizona have the WORST illegal immigration problem in the country and it is easy for the rest of the country to look down their noses at this legislation and feel good about themselves and how much more understanding they would be. U.S. Citizens have rules to follow, so should anybody else willing to take advantage of all the freedoms our country offers. It’s also not fair to all the other races in this country who work hard to gain citizenship. One of the problems we have here is illegals crossing the border to give birth in our hospitals (which cannot turn people away in cases of emergency), thereby automatically making their children citizens. Then they stay and are undocumented, and the ones that aren’t toeing the line make laws like this necessary. It’s really not that difficult to understand.

    • Liz

      You are incorrect. U.S. citizens are NOT required by law to carry identification. Although in Arizona, I guess they are now.

      • Fenius

        This is state law. If a state wants all citizens to carry ID, it becomes a law. If Arizona adopts that law, then yes, its a law! If you don’t live in Arizona, Liz, SHUT UP!! If you do, then complain to your local authority.

    • angie

      LOL if you’re going to write a long ass post and want people to actually read it, you probably shouldn’t start it with something so clearly wrong. It kind of undermines your credibility.

    • Jan

      So right!!!

    • Huds

      The only times U.S. citizens are required to carry identification is when they are driving a car, trying to get on an airplane, or entering or leaving the country (passport). Otherwise we are free to roam around the country id-tag free.

  • Melinda65

    Isn’t everyone, in every state, required to follow federal law in addition to whatever laws exist within that particular state? This is just a matter of the state police providing enforcement of a law that already exists, not the state making a new law.

    • KP

      American citizens are not required to carry identification at all times. So, no, it’s not.

      • Fenius

        STATE LAW!! If you dont live in Arizona, you need to cram it! You do no have the experience to make a judgement call, you only have your opinions and your assumptions. If you do live in Arizona, you may agree with the law or, if you dont, you can complain to your governor.

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