Oh la migra la migra

15 Mar

In what could become inspirational fodder for the Border Patrol's follow-up CD, Custom officers inspect a storm drain in San Diego looking for some 12 people who were last seen entering the drain at the world's busiest border crossing
In what could become inspirational fodder for the Border Patrol’s follow-up CD, Custom officers inspect a storm drain in San Diego looking for some 12 people who were last seen entering the drain at the world’s busiest border crossing

In their latest efforts to keep our border “safe” and prevent unnecesary deaths at the border, la Migra (the good ole US Border Patrol) has released a CD featuring corridos, or Mexican folk ballads, that lament tragedies that have happened on the border and encourage you to be macho by staying home.   The songs, written by Rodolfo Hernandez and inspired by newspaper clippings and actual events,  include lyrics about mothers being raped, suffocating in an air-tight trailer, and other similar tragic endings.:

He put me in a trailer

There I shared my sorrows

With 40 illegals

They never told me

That this was a trip to hell.

— “El Respeto” (“Respect”)

The songs are being played in several states that send the most immigrants, like Zacatecas and Michoacan, and the radio stations have said people are already calling in to request them.  The Border Patrol, however, isn’t exactly being obvious about the fact that they are footing the bill, and their discreet propaganda makes me wonder just how desperate they’ve become in their effort to control illegal immigration.  Yet I also question whether or not these ballads will have the desired effect the Border Patrol is aiming for, or whether they will simply propagate the border crossing into the mythical tradition it is becoming in Mexico.

In a country where machismo runs thicker then the hair gel and millions of people are struggling to feed their families tortillas and beans, I have a feeling that these haunting ballads will inspire more potential migrants then they will discourage. The mythic qualities and dangers of heading North have made the crossing a rite of passage in many small rural towns across Mexico, and while the ballads certainly do not glamorize the violence and the risks involved, they do lend a certain aura of honor and respect to those who have failed prematurely in their struggle to achieve el sueno americano.

crossing

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One Response to “Oh la migra la migra”

  1. Jani March 19, 2009 at 5:16 am #

    Nice blog! I like it 🙂

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