Is Dora the Explorer being used in the Arizona immigration debate?

You may have seen this image of Dora the Explorer being circulated on the Internet.


She's shown in a booking photo with a black eye, bloodied nose and holding a prisoner I.D. number. Presumably she's been arrested for being an undocumented immigrant.

Poor, poor Dora, I thought. Then I started laughing hysterically.

I think it's a funny use of the image making a point about how absurd the new immigration law is in Arizona.

Even ambiguously Latino characters like Dora Marquez could be caught up in the immigration debate.

You see Dora is Latina. We don't know where she was born. She does however speak Spanish with a slight American accent. Even though she's an explorer, I doubt she carries around a passport or birth certificate.

If stopped by police, say for running too fast with her sidekick monkey, Boots, through the Spooky Forest or Crocodile Lake, she'd have a hard time proving where she came from.

Like many Latinos she'd be ripe for racially profiling under this new Arizona immigration law.

Boots speaks English so he might be able to talk his way out of a stop by police. But Tico, her squirrel friend, he speaks Spanish and only a few words of English. And Diego, well, he's her cousin. He's bilingual like Dora so he better watch out too.

I also thought about how I would explain what happened to Dora if my five-year-old nephew saw her booking photo.

It might traumatize him since he has a crush on Dora.

But maybe I would just explain that Dora got in trouble with the law. She's a child so it's not her fault if she is undocumented. We shouldn't blame Dora.

In every episode of this Nickelodeon show that has been on the air more than 10 years Dora has to find something or help somebody.

But maybe, like in the show, if we ask the audience to call out "Map," one will appear and help her find her way out safely.

Vamonos. Let's help Dora and and all the undocumented children out there by pressuring Congress to pass the DREAM Act to help legalize undocumented youth brought to the United States by their parents.

If only it were so simple.

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