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Mexico wants it easier for illegals to 'survive'

  • A new initiative sponsored by the Mexican government makes it easier for illegals to sneak across the dangerous U.S. border and then blend in once they've arrived.
By Fred Lingel

Rather than take the extra steps necessary to stem the incredible tide of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexican border, the Mexican government announced ti will begin handing out "survival kits" to Mexicans seeking to make the dangerous trek across deserts and mountains in order to sneak illegally into the United States.

A committee made up of Mexican doctors and health workers formed by the Mexican government's aptly-named Office for Mexicans Abroad will be in charge of orchestrating the initiative. The newly-created Mexican agency will be headed by Juan Hernandez, a U.S. citizen.

The Mexican program begins June 15 and is expected to cost approximately $15 million.

At first, the Mexican government says it will pick up the tab, but the U.S.-taxpayer-funded California Endowment, a health foundation near San Diego, says it will contribute to the initiative out of a $50 million fund set aside for California farm workers.

According to Mexican official data, out of an estimated 1.5 million Mexicans who attempted the extremely dangerous border crossing last year, 490 perished.

The survival kits, which will be given with no questions asked to any Mexican citizen who requests one, contain the usual food, water, medicine and other vital provisions suitable for crossing hazardous terrain.

What has some U.S. immigration reform groups objecting to the program is the fact that Mexican officials have also chosen to include critical information for surviving and blending in one the illegals have reached their U.S. destination safely.

The Kits contain a list of California health clinics that do not charge fees or ask for Social Security numbers. They also provide information on good nutrition, self-esteem and even Asian meditation techniques "to combat the pressures of being in a country they've entered illegally."

In addition to the necessities and the pamphlets, all Mexican women who want to make the illegal trip will be given 25 birth control pills -- a little less than a month's supply -- and men will receive 25 condoms. Information on to how use the pills and condoms will also be provided.

Copley News Service reported that President Vicente Fox's administration is setting up a Migrant Attorney General's office with exclusive mandate of investigating and prosecuting crimes that have been committed against illegals whey they are trying to cross the border.

U.S. ranchers who patrol their land and detain or kill illegals who use private property to cross into the United States could face prosecution under Mexican laws.

"The kits program reflect a reality that has rarely been reflected officially,' Jorge Santibanez, president of the College of Northern Frontier in Tijuana, told Copley News Service. "Mexico avoided actions that could appear to be helping migrants leave. There was kind of a self-censorship: What will the U.S. say if we look like we're helping them leave? This self-censorship has disappeared.