Border Beat Immigration Monday
“Tijuana makes me happy.” -- The Nortec Collective

January 28, 2008


PLEASE GO TO MY LAST BLOG POST FOR THE FAMILY FUND FOR SLAIN USBP AGENT LUIS AGUILAR. To those of you who have sent money, like Red Charlie—thanks.



Once again, The Border is in the headlines. No, not our border. “Egypt struggles to reseal Gaza Strip border.” “Gaza Border Proves Easier to Open Than to Close.” “As Egypt Tries to Plug Border, Gazans Poke New Hole.” Interestingly, Egyptians are responding to this wave of illegal immigration in the surest border way, proven by time: they are moving in goods for sale! Offering savings while jacking up prices! Moving in blue jeans, running shoes, bread, sunglasses, aspirin! Shades of San Ysidro, California.

Did you see today’s papers? There was a picture of an Egyptian kid at the border fence with a big tray of pastries for sale to the “illegals”! They looked just like tortas and empanadas! I’ll take one of those, and lay on some jalapeños.

Meanwhile on our own border, USBP agent, Luis Aguilar, is run down intentionally by Mexican drug dealers in a Hummer. However, much more interesting to the Entertainment Tonight media, rapper Lil Wayne was caught—allegedly—ahem—crossing the border with drugs! In Yuma! In the same sector where Agent Aguilar was assassinated! By drug lords! In other words, Lil Wayne—ALLEGEDLY!-- was investing good American money in the organization that murdered Luis Aguilar.

Devo had it right: “It’s a beautiful world for you. For you. For you. It’s not for me.”


It isn’t just Americans who hate the Mexican border and are ashamed of it. Gael García Bernal, the cutie-patootie post-modern movie star from Mexico City, once attended an important arts event in Tijuana and, during his public presentation, helpfully reminded the gathered adoring public that Tijuana was the armpit of Latin America. Gee, uh, thanks! We couldn’t be more proud.

I wonder—does that make San Diego the shoulder? The more vivid border-haters have been heard to address TJ, or Juarez, or Matamoros, or Nuevo Laredo as the anus of Mexico—that’s even less helpful, though it’s plenty vivid. One has to wonder which appendage/orifice the United States becomes.

But Tijuana is the eternal optimist. The great survivor. They scrappy alleycat. The perfect capitalist construct. Hey, Gael—before you leave, you wanna buy a plaster Bart Simpson statue?

For you, amigo, it’s half-price! Hey, amigo…how about a blanket? Hey! I got a nice surfer hoodie right here.



Way back at the shadowy birth of Immigration Monday (we need a snappier title, don’t we—now that the blog is swelling up into some kind of b-movie monster), I trumpeted the amazing and welcome book, AQUI ES TIJUANA by Fiamma Montezemolo, René Peralta, and Heriberto Yepez. (Black Dog Publishing.) Not only is it a physically ravishing chunk of funk, but it’s a compendium of astounding data, history, wit and joy. Yes, bad news too. When I post the Immigration Monday reading list in the near future, you can bet this book will be on the shelf.

I’ll give you a Ph.D. reading list—everything you need to know about the border. Learn for yourself. Do it for yourself. Change the world by yourself. Be Zapata, sisters, be Sor Juana, brothers. While you’re joining me in the self-built Border Studies Ph.D., AQUI ES TIJUANA can get you an MA in Tijuana Studies.

Gael García Bernal and the delicate Chilangos of El D.F. aside, the border is alive and overwhelming and sometimes beatific. It is dark, violent, troubling and insane (yes, all these things) in direct relation to its proximity to the United States. Oops. Yass, yass, as Dean Moriarity says to Sal Paradise. Yass! You see, the Unites States places its massive buttocks upon the imaginary line and grunts and groans and—whoa, dude—did you eat something that upset your tum-tum?

Politely stated: Mexican border cities have always, forever, without pause or doubt, been what we could call SERVICE PROVIDERS for the big fat (beloved yet feared) patriarch squatting on the line. You don’t think so? Prohibition? Hey, run to Mex for booze. Horny sailor? Hey, run to Mex for a hooker. Wanna see women degraded in sex shows. Hey, run to Mex where a poverty-stricken woman with a starving family will copulate with fruit or a donkey for money. We don’t like to see people sitting around, sleeping under cactuses like that guy on the Taco Bell signs! Work! We can be proud that we have taken that welfare-chiseler and gotten her onstage earning good minimum wages.

And our great mental/spiritual American Exceptionalism salve is that we can go home to civilization and say, “Damn, them Messkins is sub-human!” Truly, we are the city shining upon the hill.

Don’t feel guilty. Guilt is bunk. It’s a sucker’s game. All we liberals feel guilty all the time—instead of actually doing anything about the world. We sigh and fret. We sip our slim-latte and crunch our biscotti and shake out heads. But we don’t do anything.

Urrea’s Dictum # 741: Guilt is self-indulgence.

How come the Bible doesn’t yell “guilt” all the time? Look in your mconcordance. Mine has two listings for guilt, amigos. One with a few verses from the New Testament, and one with a slightly bigger handful of quotes from the Old. None that I can see deal with “feeling totally bummed about the gnarly bad stuff.” Feelings? Zero entries in the concordance! [Note to self—time to rethink that whole “poetry” thing you have going on.]

God is a writer. (Dictum # 1.) God knows what’s up with words and the urge to write-sing-yell. Guilt? No. Conviction? Yass, yass—now you’re getting somehre. Now you’re cooking with gasoline. (It’s cheaper at Pemex.)

Feel convicted and act: even if all you do is scrawl a pointless little blog like me. But feeling guilt? Nah. At the end of the day, all you do if you’re guilty is go to bed tired, thinking you really took part in saving the world because you were inconvenienced for an hour or two.

It’s caca de toro.

Besides, Tijuana likes your money.

This is the great sin of the border: love of money.


Need cheap cigarettes? Mexico! Horse thief? Hide out in Mexico! Want a quick and inexpensive muffler job? Mexico! Want affordable meds because your health insurance sucks? Tijuana, here I come. Want to film TITANIC and MASTER AND COMMANDER on the cheap? Build a studio in Tijuana! Wanna hid your toxic waste and radioactive bilge water where only poor brown invisible paupers will be poisoned? Tijuana Municipal Garbage Dump right this way!

Wanna run a toy factory where women work 19 hour days for a $1.50 a day making lead cars for the world’s children? How about the maquila we own in MEXICO!

Spring break? Quick divorce? Botox? Abortion? Cancer treatment? Crafts? Silver jewelry? Oaxacan wooden carvings? Pottery? Velvet Elvis paintings?


Homey, please.

“You attack us for selling drugs
But who are the consumers?”


DATA from the TJ book:

In 2000, earnings for traffickers in illegal immigrants on the border grew to more than 7000 million dollars, according the the United States State Department.

Contrary to what is generally believed, the majority of “polleros” (human smugglers) are United States citizens. In 2003, 123 polleros were detained at the Tijuana-San Ysidor border crossing. 89% of them were North American.

One third of the money that is paid by the undocumented (“pollos”) to by taken across the border by traffickers (“polleros”) ends up in the pockets of immigration functionaries of Mexico and the United States.
Report of the Commission of Population, Borders and Migratory Affairs of the Chamber of the House of Deputados, Mexico, 2003


Last week, I was wondering what it would take to really REDEFINE THE LINE.

Vicente Fox doesn’t get much credit these days. It is a standard Mexican phenomenon that the president leaves office in semi-disgrace. No, wait…I guess it is a universal phenomenon that a president leaves office in semi-disgrace. But Fox, bringing a Coca Cola executive’s business plan to Mexico for the first time, offered a new border-paradigm for a region sorely in need of one. Clinton’s NAFTA wasn’t so Nifty. It was a great concept, but the practice, well, we’re human. We want more more more, as Billy Idol reminds us. Ross Perot doesn’t sound so crazy now, does he? MEMO TO ROSS PEROT: Come Back, All Is Forgiven!

Fox tried to dismantle decades (centuries?) of Mexican distaste for their own border by declaring it not the armpit, not the rectum, not the zone of porno, dark hole, Calcutta of the border, or no-man’s land. All terms well known to anyone with any border history. (Besides, give Calcutta a break—your phone bill’s handled there and your iPod battery complaints probably built a couple of fine downtown edifices.) Fox declared the border a ZONE OF POSSIBILITY! A profit zone! A Texas-style bidness opportunity, y’all. No fool he. In the New York Times, I (yay for me, I rule and am powerful and immensely famous) dubbed him “President Vicente Crazy-Like-A Fox.”

He smartly recommended to the Bushettes that they forget about years of Mexican yowling about Imperialism, Human Rights, Border Hegemony. Let’s all forget the Alamo! Buy Buy Buy, baby! Mexico = Billions of $$$ in Fat Juicy American Profits. In other words, the creamy white buttocks of the Northern Gargantua could not only spew, but learn some exercises to intake! Suck it up, man! Fox had workers available! Fox had oil! Fox had corn and sugar and rice and tequila and fruit and fish and olives and tomatoes! Fox had copper! Gas! Tech. Cheap manufactoring. Fox even had REAL Coke with sugar instead of corn syrup! And Mexico had Mexicans with a lot of $$$ they wanted to spend! Where does all this happen? THE BORDER!

New World Order? Yeah—order me up a fish taco platter, 67 freight cars full of copper nuggets and pinto beans, six tankers with Pemex crude, and a cherry Coke.

POLITICAL PARANOIDS TAKE NOTE (are you listening, Warrior!!!????): one of Mexico’s minor-level politicians took me aside once and suggested that Bush was “soft” on immigration because Mexico made it clear that this new-world order, including the fish tacos, could happily and profitably go to China if we didn’t want to play.

How much money is available to us from Mexico? Well, the biggest Home Depot in the world is in Mexico City. I bet Gael García Bernal buys his widgets there.

Border: zone of opportunity.
Border: imaginary line uniting partners.

Save the world. Buy Nortec CDs. You can dance you ass off. Expand your mind. Pour money into my beloved border arte y música scene. Feel good—in unity with your Mexican brothers. Party hardy, y’all. Drink Coronas! It’s the NWO thing to do.

I’m not going to apologize: Tijuana makes me happy.


In case you don’t believe my rants, last week and above, here’s a little story from Agence France Presse. You see, even if we don’t pay attention to our border situation, the rest of the world does. What’s it about? Why, it’s about the “border-panic” taking hold in AZ now that more draconian state immigration laws are going into effect. Mexicans are leaving. But, but—who’s gonna work? Where’s all that spending-cash going? Did anyone see any of that tax revenue I had sitting around? What!!!???? It went to New Mexico???

I’ve said it here before. (Damn, I’m good.) You can’t scare everyone into leaving because they’re “taking too much” from your economy, then realize they took their spending money with them, and now you’re broke because those damned Beaners up and abandoned you!

Fortunately, those traitors at Truth Out post stories like this.


I’m tired.

It’s snowing here. My daughter eats Oreos and drinks chocolate milk and watches Indiana Jones. No idea of the suffering. No sense of The Fear.

I’m finishing my new novel.
I’m daring to hope.
I’m loving America—trying to care for its broken wing. Spring isn’t far. I can’t wait to open the window.

WWJD—Who Would Jesus Deport?
Not me.
Love, L

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]