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Out of Control Policy Blog

Border Wars Take On a Musical Tone

Anthony Randazzo
March 18, 2009, 11:46am

In one of the stranger twists in the border wars, DHS has begun developing its own 21st century Tokyo Rose: up-tempo Mexican folk music about the horrors of illegal border crossings. The songs are to be written by an ad company out of DC and will be distributed via radio throughout Mexico.

This is actually a follow up to an EP of sorts, five songs were recorded in 2006 and aired throughout Mexico. This Washington Post article reports that many of the stations who play the songs (and those who hear them) are unaware that Uncle Sam is the producer of the "bouncy ballads of death, dashed dreams and futile attempts at manhood."

On song called "20 Years" ("Veinte Años") warns young men that its better to live then die in the desert:

"Before you cross the border, remember that you can be just as much a man by chickening out and staying / Because it's better to keep your life than ending up dead."

US Customs and Border Patrol have other means of discouraging illegal immigration. The "No Mas Cruces en la Frontera" campaign ("No more crossings on the border") uses ads in newspapers, television, and radio to place images and ideas about how deadly crossing the border can be. And then for those who try anyway there is the fence and famed Minutemen. 

Tariffs and trucking restrictions have been mounting between the two large trading partners, and it needs to stop. Mexico is the third second largest import/export partner the US has. Our economy needs immigrants from south of our border to meet market demands for services. Instead of spending money on catchy limericks, perhaps ICE and Border Patrol should invest their budgeted money in making the immigration process easier to open the borders for free flow of trade and human ingenuity and entrepreneurship.  

UPDATE:

Mexico's Ambassador to the US, Arturo Sarukhan, wrote in a WSJ op-ed today an excellent, and passionate plea for the US to end its protectionist practices and offered a well argued explanation for why Mexico has levied the new tariffs against American goods.


Anthony Randazzo is Director of Economic Research


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