How to be an illegal - Mexico government

How to be an illegal - Mexico government
Mon Apr 4, 2005 20:03

How to be an illegal - Mexico government publishes guide to assist border crossers

(View the guide in color on the Mexican website or as a black and white copy. Read the text of the English translation.

The government of Mexico is raising eyebrows with a new comic book offering advice on how to cross the border into the U.S. illegally.

Called "The Guide for the Mexican Migrant," the 32-page book published by Mexico's Foreign Ministry uses simple language to offer information on safety, legal rights and living unobtrusively in America.

"This guide is intended to give you some practical advice that could be of use if you have made the difficult decision to seek new work opportunities outside your country," the book says, according to the Arizona Republic.

Illustrations depict illegals wading into a river, trying to evade U.S. Border Patrol and crouching near a hole in a border fence. Immigrants are also shown hiking through the desert with rock formations similar to those in Arizona and being caught by an American agent...

"This is more than just a wink and a nod," Rick Oltman, Western field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, told the Republic. "This is so transparent, this is the Mexican government trying to protect its most valuable export, which is illegal migrants."

John Vincent, with Virginia-based Americans for Immigration Control, said, "It really looks like the Mexican government is encouraging illegal immigration. It shows the contempt that the Mexican government has for our laws."...

Read the complete article.

View the guide in color on the Mexican website or as a black and white copy. Read the text of the English translation.

Minutemen gather near Mexico border
Margaret Talev, Star Tribune Washington Bureau Correspondent
April 2, 2005 MINUTE0402
TOMBSTONE, ARIZ. - Hundreds of Americans dissatisfied with the federal government's response to illegal immigration and ready to take matters into their own hands assembled Friday in Tombstone, located near the Mexico border, to get their marching orders.

The Minuteman Project, as its leaders are calling this highly publicized month-long effort, was organized to patrol a well-worn stretch of the border and report any apparently illegal crossings to law enforcement officials.

Groups of mostly white male volunteers crunched their way across pebbled paths and wooden boardwalks that led from the public parking areas to a meeting hall where registration for the event was taking place. They'd come from across the 50 states, some planning to stay a few days, others through all of April. Some wore guns strapped to their sides. Others carried video cameras. Many identified themselves as former Marines.

"This is not a war, this is an assembly under the First Amendment. We're here to present our case to the American public," organizer Jim Gilchrist, a retired accountant from Southern California, shouted from a balcony landing to dozens of reporters shortly before noon as supporters cheered. Asked whether he was worried about retribution by gangs that smuggle people and drugs across the border, Gilchrist said he wasn't scared. Buoyed by the crowd, he added, "I can't think of a better reason to die than the First Amendment."

As speakers, including conservative commentator Bay Buchanan and Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., gave speeches inside the hall, criticizing President Bush and applauding the so-called Minutemen, immigrant rights advocates set up their own show, beating drums, clanging cowbells, wearing feather headdresses and carrying signs. One read, "No borders, no racists." A young man wore a Che Guevara T-shirt. An older woman dressed as the Statue of Liberty.

But for all the rhetoric and kitsch of the day, the overall mood of the gathering was peaceful and friendly.

"It's a party atmosphere," said City Marshal Kenn Barrett, who was flanked by about 30 Arizona Rangers deputized for the day.

Gilchrist downplayed the likelihood of any future confrontations. Volunteers are to be trained over the weekend before going to the border starting Monday morning, and Gilchrist said there would be "no engagement. You will observe. You will report. You will avoid any contact."

As they came and went, the Minutemen chatted in small clusters, generally talking calmly about their concerns for America's long-term economic prospects, free trade policy, overcrowding in public schools, the burden undocumented workers who lack insurance place on hospitals and local government resources, and their fears that Islamic terrorists are slipping unchecked into the United States across an insufficiently protected border. Many were sensitive to accusations that they are vigilantes, or racists.

"I'm not even mad at the immigrants, I'm mad at the (U.S. and Mexican) governments, both of them," said Tim Donnelly, a 38-year-old plastics supplier and father of five from Twin Peaks, Calif. "They've got to seal the border and get serious about it. And I want them to crack down on employers who are tax cheats. You've got big business exploiting people," he said. "I see these people as economic refugees, not as criminals."

Greg Sheehan, 43, of Altoona, Pa., said the idea that employers can't find Americans to do certain jobs is bogus. As the owner of two hotels, he said, "All my employees are native-born Americans. We do background checks."

Another participant, Yeh Ling-Ling of Oakland, a Vietnam-born woman of Chinese descent who came legally to the United States in 1980, said immigration of low-skilled workers is hurting the nation as it struggles with a trade deficit, overcrowded schools and budget woes. She is executive director of a group called the Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America.

"The U.S. is no longer what it used to be," she said. "American children are falling behind."

A 65-year-old government worker and retired Marine from Oceanside, Calif., who asked to be identified only by his first name, Len, said he is concerned that a lack of sufficient patrolling and barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border is an invitation to terrorists.

"Why are American forces defending the borders of Iraq and not the borders of the U.S.?" he asked. "There's a bigger threat to our security through the southern border in terms of a direct attack on our infrastructure than from Syria or Lebanon. It just hasn't materialized yet."


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