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What's Spanish for "get out of jail free?"

I've always had a bit of a rebel/subversive streak to me. Often when I hear about a law or policy that I find especially stupid or annoying, ways to highlight the idiocy spring to mind.

For example, a few years ago Manchester, NH was considering mandatory drug tests for all high school athletes. I thought that violated the principle of search and seizure without probable cause, so I called into a local talk show and asked what might happen were I to collect a list of substances known to give false positive results to such drug tests and give that list to as many athletes as I could.

That happened again recently, when I heard about the government's "OTM" policy regarding illegal aliens. In short, those from Mexico were immediately deported. Those from countries Other Than Mexico would require more efforts to deport than a bus ticket, so they were being released with a citation for most minor violations.

That got me to thinking, and I think I have a plan for the next time I feel like doing something of questionable legality. I think it might play out something like this:

"Excuse me, sir. Would you mind putting down that pigeon and coming over here?"

"What seems to be the problem, Officer?"

"We have laws against doing that sort of thing to birds around here. Could I see some identification?"

"I don't have any on me."

"So, what's your name?"

"Juan Valdez."

"'Juan Valdez,' huh? And where are you from?"

"Bogota, Columbia. And I don't have any identification -- I'm in this country illegally."

"So, you're from Columbia? Habla Espanol?"

"No, I'm from a very exclusive neighborhood in Bogota -- we only spoke English."

(Looking at my incredibly Anglo appearance) "You don't speak Spanish, and you certainly don't look Spanish..."

"Officer, I sincerely hope you aren't engaging in racial profiling."

"I get the feeling I ought to run you in."

"Why bother? My fingerprints aren't on file anywhere." (And they're not -- I've lived a clean life, at least as far as law enforcement is concerned.) "And you know that if you call Immigration, they'll just tell you to kick me loose with a ticket."

At that point, the officer will either issue a ticket to "Juan Valdez" and send me on my way, or not even bother with the ticket.

I think it oughta work. It certainly is a lot cheaper than trying to hire Johnnie Cochran -- especially since he's now facing the Final Court Of Appeals.

Comments (14)

That would be "Salir libre ... (Below threshold)

That would be "Salir libre de la carcel".

I think the U.S. should han... (Below threshold)

I think the U.S. should handle the deportations the way Mexico does. When they do the annual Eurotrash roundup here they take them to the nearest border, the border with Belize is nearest in my area, and walk them to the middle of the bridge. It makes no difference to the Mexicans what country they are from, they put them in "no man's land" and they are on their own. If Belize doesn't allow them entry they can jump off the bridge and swim for it, stand there and starve, or make a run for one side or the other. If either country catches them trying to enter illegally they take them to jail, which in Mexico's case is serves as a processing center, while you await trial in Mexico you wait in prison, nobody stays in jail for more than 24 hours. I'm not sure what Belize does with the ones who try to enter illegally, I've seen quite a few Guatemalans and Salvadorans get arrested at check points in Belize but have never asked how they process them. I know that after Mexico throws you out once you face 2-5 years in prison if they catch you again.

"salga de la cárcel libre"<... (Below threshold)

"salga de la cárcel libre"

I can play monopoly in 14 diferent languages. ;-)


One can live a clean life a... (Below threshold)

One can live a clean life and still have fingerprints on file

I've been fingerprinted about 3 times... worked for a bank, a major defense contractor and now for a DA office.

Another way not to have 'em on file is just being really smart about not getting caught. ;-)

Not to be too picky, but th... (Below threshold)

Not to be too picky, but the Google translation is wrong.

Free can be translated as "Libre" but, that's free in the sense of "freedom", which is why "libre" sounds like "liberty". Free as in, "no cost" or "no consequence", is, in Spanish, "Gratis".

"Get out of jail free" can be translated two ways into Spanish, both of which are contextually dependnent.

"Salga de la cárcel, gratis" would be the translatino of the command "(You) get out of jail free".

"Sailida de la cárcel, gratis" would be the translation of the Monopoly game piece "Get out of jail free (card)".

Actually, my Monopoly game ... (Below threshold)

Actually, my Monopoly game card says "Salir libre de la carcel" but the rule book calls the card "Salir libre de la carcel gratis". Another way to say it would be, "Pague apenas a presidente Clinton para un perdón, Sr. Rich."

Yes indeed, one need not be... (Below threshold)

Yes indeed, one need not be an evil-doer to have fingerprints on file. My entire school was fingerprinted--I was still in 2nd grade--when a rash of child abductions in Detroit made possible identification of dead kids seems like a good reason for having fingerprints on file.

I similarly have DNA on file, as part of an optional USG program for people who worked in risky places, to help identify otherwise unidentifiable remains.

Somehow, I've eluded having my SSN barcoded onto the sole of my foot, though....

Jay, you’re forgetting that... (Below threshold)

Jay, you’re forgetting that in modern America, the police are the least of your problems.

You would still have to contend with the wrath of groups like PETA. Or depending upon what you were caught doing with the pigeon, the self appointed Morality Police.

As for those who are rounde... (Below threshold)

As for those who are rounded up in Belize for processing... they get put in guarded refugee camps on the coast for a while. A friend of mine who just visited there tells me that these camps, which are at/below sea level (as is the whole country for miles inland), flood whenever there's a nice storm surge. You survive, you move on to the next step of extradition or naturalization.

I'm only repeating what I've heard, but what are blogs for if not for scurrilious hearsay?

Jeez, I always thought blog... (Below threshold)

Jeez, I always thought blogs were for weak attempts at humor.

But I think this hearsay thing has potential...

Last time I was in Long's D... (Below threshold)

Last time I was in Long's Drugstore in Kihei, HI, the Maui Police were fingerprinting anyone/everyone who wanted them to, and mostly encouraging every child who entered the store to get fingerprinted.

Not like the kids had criminal records.

Fingerprinting only means you're fingerprinted, doesn't inherently mean you have an arrest record. Or, even if you do, arrests happen for minor infractions all the time -- consequence, still fingerprinted.

I guess it's only a problem (having your prints on record) if and when you don't WANT to be identified. For the rest of us, it can be a thing of establishing identity, not avoiding it.

And what were you doing wit... (Below threshold)

And what were you doing with the pigeon?

Isn't it odd that Mexicans get deported while, say, Saudis, Egyptians and Yemenis don't? Kind of gives the lie to the whole Minuteman "we have to secure the border with Mexico because of 9/11" thing. (And never mind that the 911 hijackers came in through Canada.)

I had to get fingerprinted ... (Below threshold)

I had to get fingerprinted in order to get my USCG Coast Guard License, don't you have to get fingerprinted for a driver's license anyway?.


Isn't it odd that Mexica... (Below threshold)

Isn't it odd that Mexicans get deported while, say, Saudis, Egyptians and Yemenis don't? Kind of gives the lie to the whole Minuteman "we have to secure the border with Mexico because of 9/11" thing.

What about Saudis, Egyptians and Yemenis who come in from Mexico?

Merely deporting Mexicans isn't going to achieve the desired result -- we actually have to secure the borders.

The open-borders idiots still just can't wrap their minds around the fact that people other than Mexicans can also sneak across our border with Mexico.






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