A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 05, 2012
“Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.”

"Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian” has been cited in print since at least 1985, when it was credited to humorist Robert Orben.

Another joke about “asking an Indian” is “Sure you can trust the government—just ask an Indian.”


Wikipedia: Robert Orben
Robert Orben (born March 4, 1927) is best known as an American professional comedy writer, though he also worked as a speechwriter for Gerald R. Ford and as a magician. He has written multiple books on comedy, mostly collections of gags and “one-liners” originally written for his newsletter, Orben’s Current Comedy, and he has also written books for magicians.

14 March 1985, Kokomo (IN) Tribune, “Celebrity Cipher,” pg. 32, col. 2:
PREVIOUS SOLUTION: “Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.”—Robert Orben

16 November 1985, The Morning Union (Springfield, MA), pg. 14, col. 4:
An old problem
Historically, illegal aliens have been a problem in America. Ask any Indian.
CHARLES L. BROTHERS
Longmeadow

Google Books
1,911 Best Things Anybody Ever Said
By Robert Byrne
New York, NY: Fawcett, Columbine
1988
523
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.
Robert Orben

Google Books
Patterns in Prehistory:
Humankind’s First Three Million Years

By Robert J. Wenke
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
1990
Pg. 587:
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. (Robert Orben)

11 July 1997, Orlando (FL) Sentinel, “Regain Homeland” (editorial), pg. A16:
“ILLEGAL ALIENS have always been a problem. Ask any Indian.” This poignant quote from an anonymous author lies somewhere between irony and gallows humor.

The Hindu (India)
Monday, Aug 23, 2004
“Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian.” — Robert Orben

Google Books
52 Loaves:
A Half-Baked Adventure

By William Alexander
Chapel HIll, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
2011
Pg. 192:
Illegal aliens have always been a problem in the United States. Ask any Indian. — Robert Orben, humorist and head speechwriter to President Gerald Ford

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, December 05, 2012 • Permalink