Segment Transcript
Lou Dobbs Tonight - CNN - Aired January 3, 2005
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DOBBS: An unbelievable story tonight out of Mexico, where officials have published a guide, a guide filled with tips for Mexican citizens to help illegal aliens safely cross the border into this country. Although the book warns against illegally crossing that border, it lays out step by step instructions on how to do just that. Casey Wian reports from Los Angeles.


CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Mexicans trying to sneak into the United States now have more help, from their own government. Mexico's Foreign Ministry is distributing a 24-page booklet titled "The Guide for the Mexican Migrant." It contains safety information about how to survive desert or river crossings, such as adding salt tablets to water to prevent dehydration, and warning not to cross during intense heat.

While the booklet does say obtaining a visa is the best way to enter another country, it then provides a step by step guide to crossing without one. From advice about dealing with coyotes or smugglers to tips such as following power lines or train tracks when lost. It's all there.

MARK KRIKORIAN, CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES: Clearly, part of it is to protect the lives of people who are going to cross anyway. It's also intended to facilitate illegal immigration, to make it more normal, more routine and less risky, so that it continues.

WIAN: Much of the guide focuses on what illegal aliens should do if caught by the border patrol. It tells them not to throw rocks at border patrol agents, saying that would be considered provocation. It points out the rights illegal aliens enjoy in this country, and offers tips on how to avoid detection once they've made it across.

The Mexican embassy says the booklet is an effort to save lives, and denies that it encourages illegal immigration. The booklet is being distributed as a free insert in a popular Spanish-language cowboy comic book and over the Internet. Mexico has published more than a million copies of the guide.


WIAN: Today, a White House spokesman said he was unaware of the border crossing guide, but would look into it. One immigration control advocate, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, says he's surprised the Bush administration is not listed as a co-publisher, since it's done so much to encourage illegal immigration -- Lou.

DOBBS: Casey, thank you very much. Casey Wian reporting from Los Angeles.


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