White Maskless Woman Harasses Landscaper: 'Show Me Your Papers'

Juan Andrade had begun mowing a lawn at the Parkview Villas—an apartment complex in the city of Rancho Mirage, California—when a white female resident approached him, stood directly in front of his lawnmower without a face mask and demanded to proof of his U.S. citizenship.

Andrade has worked for a local landscaping company for 10 years and had run into this woman before. Three months ago, he said, the same woman approached him and told him to "Go back to his country."

This time, Andrade started recording her.

She leaned down and blew a kiss to his camera before circling him. When she stood in his path, he asked, "Can you move? I'm doing my work."

She stood silently in front of him.

"Can you move out of my work area?" he repeated, "and can you step away? You're too close to me right now and you're not wearing mask."

In a low voice, the woman said, "Then show me your papers." When he asked, "Can you move away?" She repeated, "No, no. Show me your papers."

He responded, "You want to see my papers? You immigration?"

She raised her eyebrows and said, "Show me your papers, mariposa." Mariposa is the Spanish word for butterfly—it's also used as a slur for homosexual.

Rancho Mirage racist show your papers Karen
A man operates a lawnmower Iuliia Zavalishina/Getty

Since sharing his video online, the Rancho Mirage City Attorney, Steve Quintanilla, and the local Housing Authority's Manager, Marcus Aleman, have announced their intention to conduct an investigation.

"The Rancho Mirage Housing Authority has a zero-tolerance policy for this type of behavior and the harassment of anyone, including other tenants, visitors, guests and contracted vendors conducting work at its affordable senior housing properties," Aleman said in a statement.

Newsweek contacted the Parkview Villas for comment.

The phrase "Show me your papers" has a long history as a demand made on freed U.S. slaves in the 1800s, persecuted Jews during the Nazi Holocaust, Japanese-Americans during World War II and, in the modern era, people of Central and South American ethnicity living in the United States.

The demand for proof of one's citizenship has also reared its head during the presidency of Barack Obama as now-President Donald Trump and now-First Lady Melania demanded to see Obama's birth certificate to prove that he was actually born in Honolulu, Hawaii rather than Kenya, Africa as right-wing "birther" conspiracy theorists claimed.

Megan Beaman Jacinto, an immigration lawyer in the Coachella Valley, told NBC Palm Springs, "Unless you are law enforcement... they are using that ['show me your papers'] conversation as just another way to intimidate and create objects out of human beings who appear to be different from them."