Guest Commentary

Some ideas for industrious Mexicans on how to capitalize on the border crackdown

NOGALES, MEXICO--If Mexican retailers are savvy, here are some of the products they might consider offering in light of heightened border security and consideration of a guest-worker-amnesty program in the United States.

Three-Person Parasail. It doesn't get windy often in Nogales, Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez, but when it does, you'll be the talk of smuggling circles when you fly over Homeland Security checkpoints. The Hasta Luego, Compañeros-brand parasail offers multiple crossings at 3,200 feet. Gusts of at least 32 mph (50 kilometers per hour) required. 4,500 pesos.

Muskrat's Choice Burrowing Kit. Why should prisoners at maximum-security facilities be the only ones to tunnel their way to a better way of life? You can, too, with this bottom-of-the-line (!) kit complete with dynamite, shovels, a snake-identification chart and a GPS locator. You'll be the talk of the neighborhood--and free!--when you pop into the Murphy family's living room or the Goldfarbs' basement. 3,200 pesos.

Diplomatic Passport and Pouch. If you're going to make that crossing legally at a port of entry, why not feign diplomatic status? You have to make that meeting tomorrow at the United Nations, and you just don't have time for overzealous Customs agents to examine every cubic inch of your suitcase. Besides, it's against the Geneva Conventions. Witness the Vivo Mortificado-brand cowhide passport holder, a brushed suede pouch with "Diplomatic Pouch, Grimy Fingers Off, Please" monogrammed in gold. 2,300 pesos plus appropriate sales tax from the country of your choice.

Six-Foot Hollow Plastic Eggplant. It's terribly uncomfortable to hide below palates of tomatoes or squash--why not travel inside an enormous fake Dudosa Iniciativa-brand eggplant? Genetically altered eggplants have been getting larger--every load from Sinaloa looks larger than the last--so why not try concealing yourself? 512 pesos.

"Have a Nice Day" Blend-In English Manual. Be one of them! U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials will know you're a native when you conclude every other sentence with "Have a Nice Day," or one of its 10,000 mindless derivatives. Americans always exchange pleasant banter, even if they clench their teeth and are insincere. This 110-page manual includes politically correct phrases used by mainstream Americans to conceal prejudice. Published by Editorial Paja Completa S.A. de C.V. 120 Pesos.

"Trash-Talking Another's Mama" Blend-In Manual. Be one of them again! Whether the medium is rap music or network television, trashing another's mama is what Americans do when they're not telling one another to have a nice day. Prensa Intrigas y Difamaciones S.A. de C.V. 120 Pesos.

"I Was Living Here in 1998" Residency Kit. Don't risk embarrassment when it comes time to prove long-term residency in the United States--even if you just arrived last month. The nifty "I Was Living Here" kit will offer conclusive evidence that you were gainfully employed, enjoying professional hockey games and living happily in Boise, Idaho, in 1998. Magazine subscriptions, demand letters from creditors and cable bills in your name from 1998 are included. Also available, "I was Living Here" kits for Reno, Nev., and Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Industrias Docu-Falsa S.A. de C.V. 230 pesos

Dell Pocket Guide to Being Smuggled. You've spent two years laboring in the fields of Zacatecas to earn enough to make it to Chicago. Now, who wants to lose all that money to a coyote who will abandon you at the first sight of a green uniform? This recently updated text contains evaluations of several smuggling mafias along with tips on avoiding rip-offs, how to distinguish mirages from the real thing and proper etiquette during extended stays in hidden compartments. 200 pesos.

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