Chris Hawley, of the Arizona Republic, managed to set off quite a firestorm by printing this report about a new Comic book-style guide, titled Guia del Migrante Mexicano, which is for Mexican migrants who are trying to come to the US illegally. According to Hawley:
The 32-page book, The Guide for the Mexican Migrant, was published in December by Mexico's Foreign Ministry. Using simple language, the book offers safety information for border crossers, a primer on their legal rights and advice on living unobtrusively in the United States. I leave it to your imagination to consider how the world would react to the government of the United States publishing a guide on how to break the law in another country. One also wonders how Mexico--with its draconian immigration laws--would react to governments in Central America who put out similar guides advising their citizens how to enter Mexico illegally.
Dramatic drawings show undocumented immigrants wading into a river, running from the U.S. Border Patrol and crouching near a hole in a border fence. On other pages, they hike through a desert with rock formations reminiscent of Arizona and are caught by a stern-faced Border Patrol agent.
Opponents of illegal immigration are, of course, up in arms over this.
"It's reminiscent of the instructions to al Qaeda operatives to help their terrorists keep a low profile in safe houses in Britain," Ric Oltman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform told Reuters. Mr. Gutierrez apparently did not, however, explain why the Mexican government has decided that comic books, rather than stricter law enforcement, is a more efficacious way of dealing with that problem. Of, course, that's not really necessary. Migrants are--aside from petroleum--Mexico's most valuable export. Not only do they send back billions of dollars to prop up the Mexican economy each year, migration itself serves as a safety valve to ensure that people who are unhappy with their lot in Mexico get out of the country, rather than, say, picking up guns and doing something drastic to Mexico's corrupt oligarchs.
But Mexico's foreign ministry said the booklet was an attempt to save lives and inform migrants of the legal consequences of entering the United States.
"Last year over 300 Mexicans died in their attempt to enter the United States in search of a job and the government has the obligation to avoid that," Geronimo Gutierrez, the ministry's undersecretary for North American affairs told Reuters.
Fortunately, I have been able to obtain a copy of this controversial book in PDF format. While the quality of all the pictures is low, except for one that I ripped off from the Dallas Morning News, I thought I would present it to you, along with my translation of the images.
Actually, I don't speak Spanish, so I don't really know what the book really says. But, this is what I think it says, based on the pictures.
TRANSLATION: Ok, these guys haven't even made it across the border, and they're already crouching like rabbits. Look, don't be so paranoid. It's not like you're trying to get out of the Stalag with Steve McQueen before the Germans figure out you're escaping. You're leaving Mexico for cripes sake! Nobody on this side is gonna try and stop you. If you're this nervous before you even get to the fence, then go back home to Chiapas. You're not man enough to make the crossing! Go home to the scorn of your women!
TRANSLATION: Crossing the border into Texas offers the additional treat of a refreshing swim across the cool, meandering waters of the Rio Grande. Here, you can swim across with other handsome, tanned, young men, watching the cooling waters ripple across their taught muscular thighs as the moon glints off their smoky, dark eyes. Do not be afraid of the close bonds this may create among you and your fellow travelers. Remember, you are going to a new land, and must be willing to accept many new and strange things. Be open, and receptive to these new, dangerous, yet somehow delicious, feelings.
TRANSLATION: If you will be crossing the Rio Grande, your wife or girlfriend may try to interfere with your adventure by putting saltpeter in your water supply. Do not let her interefere! She is a woman, and cannot understand the bond that forms between men.
TRANSLATION: During your journey, you will use many of the valuable wilderness survival lessons you learned in Boy or Girl Scouts. Or rather, you would use them if we had a scouting program in our country. Unfortunately, we don't. Oh, well, good luck with that whole desert crossing deal. Let us know how that works out for you.
TRANSLATION: Let's say you get the following proposition: "Hello, I'm a frightening and mysterious stranger. Give me all your money, then let me lock you in the back of my unrefrigerated truck while I drive you through the desert. I won't abandon the truck and leave you stranded in a metal box in 120-degree heat. No, really. Trust me." Is there anything about that proposition that sounds attractive? I mean, I know it's hot and all, and your feet are probably tired, but let's exercise a little critical reasoning here, shall we?
TRANSLATION: Important safety tip: When you're still 50 miles from Tucson in the middle of August, that's not the time to slap yourself on the forehead and think, "Water! That's what I was supposed to bring!" There's no going back for it now.
TRANSLATION: Consuela was lucky. She ended up working as a nanny for Bernard Kerik and his lovely blonde wife. You, on the other hand, will probably be doing back-breaking stoop labor on some farm along the Colorado River in Yuma, AZ. And yet, you'd rather be doing that than stay here at home. In other circumstances, we'd be upset, because that kinda makes us look bad. But, all things considered, it's probably better that you go to America, rather than sticking around here and deciding to start another revolution. Better for those of us that run things down here, anyway.
ALTERNATE TRANSLATION: Consuela has much to learn about the strange habits of Americans after arriving in America. Here, Consuela's employers tell her how important it is, when performing her housekeeping tasks, not to touch any of the "toys" they keep in a small box under their bed. Unless, of course, she's curous. "Are you curious, Consuela?" asks Mrs. Anderson, as she gently caresses Consuela's arm.
TRANSLATION: If the US Border Patrol approaches you and asks for some ID, do not show them your Matricula Consular card. Trust me, that won't help you. This is why obtaining fake US identity documents is so vitally important. Sure, it costs more, but the Border Patrol can't drag you away if you've got convincing proof that you're really Neils Angstrom from Minneapolis, instead of Pablo Quintero from Vera Cruz. Blond hair dye might be helpful, too.
TRANSLATION: You've gotta know when the jig is up, and just go quietly. If you're on foot in the desert and the US Border Patrol is chasing you in a four-wheel drive Bronco, you're just not gonna get too freakin' far. Spend a few hours at the Border Patrol station drinking some refreshing cool beverages, let them send you back, and you can try again in a day or so. That's how everybody else plays the game, so there's no reason for you to rock the boat.
TRANSLATION: Always remember, the Border Patrol officers carry guns. Picking up rocks or clenching your fists is always taken as a sign of aggression, which causes them to pull out their guns and point them at you. The Border Patrol officer has a Beretta 92AF with fifteen rounds in the mag and one up the pipe. You have some small, round, smooth stones. Do the math.
Editor's Note: By the way, now that I see this in color, something's bothering me. The Border Patrol guy is wearing a really odd uniform. The US Border Patrol wears dark green. And they wear Campaign Hats (Smokey the Bear hats), not cowboy hats. I mean, you'd think that the one American uniform illegals would correctly recognize at once would be the Border Patrol.
But, wait, something's even wierder, here. It looks like he's actually wearing blue pants, but it's hard to see because he's wearing chaps. And, now that I look at at, he's kinda got a mincing little stance going on there, too.
Somehow, the Border patrol has been transmogrified into LGBTG cowboys in this comic book.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
TRANSLATION: If the Americans catch you, they will have large-breasted women in tight dresses trying to give you documents to sign. The documents will be in English, and you won't understand them, but the Americans are hoping that you'll be so entranced by the large American breasts of their women that you will sign anything just to please them. Don't let the little head do the thinking for the big head. For instance, if you've signed a murder/kidnapping confession, it's a little too late to try for a "Large Breasts" defense in an American courtroom. Besides, no American state even allows the "Large Breasts" defense. Except California.
TRANSLATION: Being in America illegally, always running from the law, can be a very lonely experience. Fortunately, in America, there are many phone sex services you can call to obtain the illusion of companionship.
TRANSLATION: Chicks in America dig music. Instead of spending all your money on "900" calls, get yourself one of those Bose Wave Radios, and maybe you'll be able to get some real action. If you're really lucky, you might hook up with that hot girl in the middle; the one wearing that low-cut, spaghetti strap camisole as a shirt. If you're really, really lucky, she'll convince the innocent-looking one to do a threesome with you.
TRANSLATION: Hey, we know you're a hoopy frood who loves to party, right? I mean, you pull out the ol' Bose Wave Radio, get that hot Salsa music rollin' hard, and you'll have half the neighborhood over for drinks and dancing in no time. Oh, by the way, you know who else shows up at noisy parties in America? The cops, that's who. 'Cause if you've got that Tijuana Brass sound blaring at 11:00 at night, some square whitebread neighbor will call the police on you. And the police are gonna want some ID. And, maybe, they won't believe that you are Neils Angstrom from Minneapolis. That's when the trouble starts. Can you see where I'm going with this? Let's keep the volume setting on the Wave Radio below 35, and you'll be happier in the long run.
TRANSLATION: If you are stopped by the police in America, it is vitally important to remember, the police there are professionals. Do not offer them money! That might get you reliably out of a scrape here at home, but in America offering money to the police is considered a serious social gaffe. So serious, in fact, it's worth about 3 years in a state penitentiary. And, after that, you get deported. Your best course of action when stopped by the police is to pretend to be a European tourist, so brush up on your German or Dutch. But remember, under no circumstances should you speak French! They don't like them in America any better than we do. Or, anyone does, really.
TRANSLATION: Not that we're suggesting that you would ever do something like this, but in America, if you start beating on women, the cops are gonna look for every excuse they can to introduce you to a little piece of police equipment they call the PR-24 Side-Handle Baton. In America, this is called "street justice". And if you hurt kids, what the cops might do is nothing compared to what your fellow prisoners are gonna do to you. So, you'd better leave that macho sh*t behind when you cross the border.
TRANSLATION: Once you've settled in America, you have the same chance as every other American to share in a unique American Dream: the arrival of Ed McMahon at your door to announce that you've become a millionaire. Unfortunately, the family shown above didn't follow all the advice in this book, and now the man at the door is a federal immigration official with a no-knock warrant to enter the premises, grab them, and deport them back here to Mexico. Be wise. Learn from their sad example.
TRANSLATION: Oh, yeah, one last thing. If you don't have enough money for a Bose or for "900" calls, the Americans, for some unaccountable reason, refuse to restrict internet access at public libraries. So you can always go there to cruise for porn for free. Just ignore the lonely library lady droning on about her 50 cats. She's harmless.
UPDATE: Thanks to a link from Michelle Malkin, I got the original pictures from the Mexican government web site. And I added another picture, too, since it's now legible.