I join Lucio in wishing your a Happy Easter with your family. However if you are in Mexico visiting family or friends for the holiday, be careful crossing the border when you return to the US.
US Customs and Border Protection agents are keeping a close eye out for a particular contraband that is illegal to bring back to the US except in very small quantities. It is treated much as we treat marijuana. Violations consisting of possessing a small amount over the allowed amount are subject to a $1,000 fine, but possessing larger amounts might result in charges that you are a trafficker and result in a fine of up to $50,000.
Cascarones are a tradition in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. But the crossing of "cascarones" - egg shells - is closely regulated to help prevent the spread of Exotic Newcastle Disease, also known as END.
The highly contagious disease affects every bird species, and birds exposed to it are 90 percent likely to die, Customs and Border Protection said.
The colored and sometimes elaborately painted Easter eggs are sold by street vendors and tienditas across Mexico, many filled with confetti.
Those who violate the limit could face a fine of up to $1,000, and those importing for commercial sale could face a $50,000 fine.
On the US side of the border in the Rio Grande Valley at least, WalMart and HEB sell cartons of the eggs and they are clearly marked on the carton "made in Mexico". Guess those laws don't apply to them.
In all probability, the border fences and walls that were built to prevent illegal smuggling of contraband and illegal border crossings do not stop many birds from both sides of the border from crossing the border and laying eggs on the other side.
It seems to me that those birds pose a greater threat to spreading Exotic Newcastle Disease
than families returning with Easter Eggs. Maybe ICE needs to hire some bird hunters to make the border more secure. Maybe we should also just buy some dye and make our own Easter eggs as I did when I was a kid.
Have a good Easter!