Skip to comments.Homeland Security Says It With Song (music warns of the hazards of illegal immigration)
Posted on 05/08/2009 12:17:38 PM PDT by a fool in paradise
The government has enlisted all types of tools in its battle to stop illegal immigration from South of the Border dogs, trenches, motion-controlled cameras, citizen border patrols, 500-mile long fences and other bright ideas that dont seem to have done the trick. Recently, however, they turned to music.
Migra Corridos is the name of a five-song CD featuring catchy Mexican folk songs with what can only be described as morbid lyrics about the dangers of illegal immigration. The disc was funded by the Department of Homeland Securitys $3.8 billion Border Safety Initiative.
The title of the album is a reference to corridos, a genre of Mexican ballads that celebrate the adventures of outlaws and rebels, and to La Migra, the derogatory nickname Spanish-speaking people use for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and other immigration agencies.
I know what youre thinking, but this is not a Cheech & Chong sketch. DHS has enlisted the help of a New York City ad agency called Elevación to conduct a propaganda campaign aimed at dissuading Mexicans from attempting to enter the country illegally.
The idea is simultaneously ridiculous, taste-free and outright hilarious, especially since the lyrics to most of the songs read like a my-wife-got-run-over-by-the-tractor-and-my-best-friend-ran-away-with-my-dog country music cliché.
For example, heres a verse from El Mas Grande Enemigo (The Biggest Enemy), which tells the sad tale of Abelardo and his cousin Rafael, who makes it into the States, but then perishes in the desert:
After some hours/ Abelardo opened his eyes/ And in the middle of the cold night/ Discovered his dead cousin at his side.
I know, right? If they were going to do this, they could have at least enlisted the talents of a decent songwriter. This sounds like the work of a third grader. Maybe it reads better in Spanish.
Other tracks on the album tell similarly charming stories, like a worker who suffocates in a tractor-trailer container and a mother who is raped by coyotes, or immigrant smugglers.
To get the songs to their target audience, the Border Patrol sent the album to dozens of Mexican radio stations in areas thought to be places large numbers of potential illegal immigrants reside.
Now heres the funniest part of this whole thing (if it is funny to be honest, I cant decide if I should be amused or horrified by this campaign): The songs have become hits.
At first the stations just aired portions of the songs in warning ads by the Mexican government. It wasnt long, however, before people began calling in to find out who sang the songs and ask that they be played in their entirety.
Elevación president Jimmy Learned told BBC Mundo he believes one of the tracks was even nominated for an award in Mexico.
(Okay, that settles it. Its funny.)
DHS has worked hard to keep its involvement in this crazy project a secret, rightly fearing both a public backlash at home and outright failure of the campaign in Mexico if people there found out the music was sponsored by La Migra.
In fact, the manager of a radio station in Michoacán told the Associated Press the truth could have even greater consequences with the citizens of Mexico.
Theyd feel as if La Migra was after them in their own country, La Zeta station manager Jose Gasca said.
Of course none of that has stopped DHS and the Border Patrol from claiming the campaign is working.
Wendi Lee, a Border Patrol spokesperson in Washington, D.C., proudly told the AP border crossing deaths have declined from a record 492 in 2005 to 390 last year.
Uh-huh. And I suppose beefed-up border security and reduced migration because the economy here sucks too have nothing to do with that decline at all?
Elevacións Learned is bragging about the success of the campaign too.
A lot of people thought the Mexican government was behind it the last thing we wanted was to put paid by La Migra, he explained, noting two new migra corridos were released last month. Whats most important is that if weve made people think twice, weve succeeded.
Next stop, Central America.
In case youre curious, you can hear all five of the original songs from the album here. (Of course, youll probably get more out of the experience if you speak Spanish.)
Read the North American Congress on Latin Americas coverage and analysis of DHS Migra Corridos project here.
Make them listen to bad music the whole time they are trying to cross maybe they will turn around and go home to the peace and quiet south of the border.
This whole administration is like a Cheech & Chong sketch.
Kerry: "I'm a lo-----ser." < /TheBeatles >
"Dave's not here."
Soy un perdidor.
I wonder how we would respond if other countries’ governments started to produce songs for us. Sure, we would all get a laugh out of a clumsy BBC song “Michael Savage is a Wanker”, but what if we found out the Chinese were pushing things like “Buy now because saving is for fools” or “Americans don’t need an education”? How about a nice global hug with the UN Theme Song played constantly?
There is some agency running an ad with kids singing John Lennon’s “Imagine” globalist atheist mantra.
I think it was something like the UN or Amnesty International.
I do not like the snarky tone this little bastard took. God forbid the Border Patrol should try to do something to discourage Mexican peasants from killing themselves in the desert. The reductions in illegal crossings began before the economic downturn. If the music sounds like it is the work of a third grader, that is because it is aimed at people with a third-grade education, at best. I’ve heard this CD, and I’ve heard thousands of corridos, mostly narco-corridos. The migra songs are better than most. Two of the most popular narco-corrido bands are going to be performing here in Washington DC next week. Both groups also sing about how mean the United States is to Mexicans. Imagine going to Mexico City and making a quarter of a million dollars by singing about how horrible and mean the Mexicans are. The guy who wrote this article has never heard a corrido in his life.
I think we should tell them how bad things are in America. We waterboard jaywalkers. Searsousilly!
Even the happy ones end in death by shooting, stabbing, poison, the garrote, etc., not to mention marital infidelity, frigidity, alcoholism, child abuse, incest, gang rape, robbery, and various and sundry violations of the Mexican Pure Food and Drug Act that, somehow, always involve unspeakable bloody mayhem.
I am led to believe that your average "Corrido" writer is not a happy camper. But I must confess an alarming character defect: I love the little ditties.
They somehow remind me of riding a horse home ... nice three-beat canter... from a very rough party, after massive tequila abuse ... listening to the news on a scratchy radio the next afternoon with a vicious, technicolor hangover, wondering, "Could it have been I who held up that 7-11 last night, shot out the traffic lights, and stole the police cruiser?"
Dying in the desert during an illegal jaunt to the US? Piece of cake for a "Corrido" author ... the equivalent of a walk in the park in 3/4 time; a walk from which one does not return . If the songs take off, no real Mexican could resist trying it.
I guess that makes it the perfect government program ... one with harmful, totally unforeseen and definitely unintended consequences.
considérate pingado, pinguido, y distinguido.
Sounds good to me. It may even be a HUGH success!!!