Is Dora The Explorer an Illegal Immigrant?

An image of the famed cartoon depicts her as an illegal immigrant.

May 21, 2010, 2:31 PM

May 21, 2010 — -- Creators of the Nickelodeon cartoon "Dora the Explorer" are urging fans not to take the bloodied mug shot labeling the animated 7-year-old as an illegal immigrant too seriously.

She is, after all, "just a cartoon."

The doctored Dora the Explorer mug shot shows the cute bilingual character bruised and beaten up.

Shown posing for her booking photo, Dora has one black eye and a bloody lip, holding a sign that reads, "Dora the Explorer Illegal Border Crossing Resisting Arrest."

Her signature haircut is left untarnished.

The image is being passed around on blogs and websites discussing the controversial immigration bill signed into law last month by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. The law essentially empowers police in the state to stop people they suspect may be illegal immigrants and demand identification.

Another image that shows Dora jumping over a border fence appears on the Facebook group page, "Dora the Explorer is Soo an Illegal Immigrant...." The group, which has more than 50,000 members, has made-up scenarios of a 9-1-1 call an onlooker might make if they saw Dora crossing the border.

The Associated Press reports that the satirical Dora mug shot is being used at rallies by both opponents and supporters of the Arizona law.

Dan Martinsen, a Nickelodeon spokesman, told that he'd heard about the images but didn't want to comment on them.

As for the stories regarding Dora's illegal immigrant status, Martinsen reiterated that she is a fictional character.

"Dora is an animated character," said Martinsen. "She was developed to be pan-Latina to represent the diversity of Latino cultures."

The half-hour "Dora the Explorer" show is one of the most successful of its kind, and has been on the air since 1999. Last year, Dora made headlines after Mattel and Nickelodeon announced that the educational cartoon character would be growing into a "tween."

But Martinsen said that no matter how real Dora may seem, especially to the pre-schoolers who flock to her show each week, she's not real.

"She lives in a computer and her show is seen in hundreds of countries," he said. "So I guess you could say she's very much the citizen of the world."

The image itself was born out of a contest last December on the fake news website "," according it the artist, Debbie Groben. Groben said that her rendition of Dora was one of many that even included an image of the dryer sheet mascot Snuggle the Fabric Softener Bear as a terrorist.

"This had nothing to do with illegal immigration, it was done in fun," said Groben, who added that she is against Arizona's controversial immigration law.

Groben said that she is really a "big fan" of Dora's, and didn't mean any harm by her image. She was simply trying to win a contest.

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