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.
Mexicans depicted crossing water in new guide to help illegals safely reach the U.S. (courtesy: Mexico Foreign Ministry)
Among the tips offered:
It also says if migrants get lost, they should follow train tracks or power lines. It warns of walking for days to reach towns or roads in the desert.
If caught by Border Patrol, the book says, “Don’t throw stones or objects at the officer or patrol vehicles because this is considered a provocation. Raise your hands slowly so they see you are unarmed.”
It also recommends not running away from agents in pursuit.
“It’s better to be detained a few hours and repatriated to Mexico than to get lost in the desert,” the guide states.
The book includes a disclaimer stating it doesn’t promote crossing the border illegally, but it doesn’t give information about legal steps to seek a U.S. visa.
Immigration-control groups are not thrilled about the guide.
“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.”
The Mexican consul general of Phoenix, Carlos Flores Vizcarra, said the reality is many migrants will try to cross the border illegally, and the book appears to be a means of protection.
“This is nothing new. It’s a way to put it in very simple terms so people will understand the risks,” he told the paper. “The intention is out of concern for human rights. People are doing it anyway. We cannot ignore that there is a very big migration between our two countries, and people who are coming to work need to understand the risks.”
Humberto Morales, 22, is an illegal immigrant from Mexico now working as a day laborer in Phoenix, and says the guide seems to have a mixed message.
“On the one hand they seem to be saying, ‘Don’t cross,’ but on the other hand they are saying, ‘Cross.’”
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