Want to see a strong documentary? Kevin Knoblock’s Border War, from 2006, is it, for it skillfully presents its subject of the “border war” involving illegal immigrants from Mexico. It concentrates on a number of participants in this war, most of them opponents of illegal entry and of such measures as a guest-worker program–e.g. former Rep. J.D. Hayworth of Arizona.
Lupe Moreno, another participant, is a Latina activist against the illegals, she whose father, a migrant worker, helped Mexican family members and others emigrate to a “safe house” in California when Lupe was a little girl. Lupe lived in the safe house and had a very hard time of it. Her father’s doings drove Lupe’s mother to leave the man, and Lupe, unprotected, was sexually molested by the immigrants, all of whom were male. What’s more, a nephew of hers was murdered by an illegal immigrant.
So was Teri March’s husband, a policeman. A vicious, drug-dealing illegal shot Dave March to death and, at long last, was extradited to the U.S. (Brutal, this, and even more brutal was the 1994 murder of a 16-year-old girl in Texas at the hands of an illegal immigrant named Humberto Leal Garcia. After raping the girl, Garcia crushed her skull with a 35-pound piece of asphalt. He was FINALLY executed in 2011.) The film’s resident defender of the illegals, Enrique Morones, correctly notes that most border-crossers do not belong to the criminal class (they’re often excellent workers) and explains their desperation to escape poverty. Morones helps them with food and water, but, although he doesn’t want them to cross the border, he also glorifies them. “They’re heroes,” he says. Also featured is a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Jose Maheda, who rightly comments that the illegals ought to be treated with respect after they’re apprehended. He knows, however, they’re not actually heroic. They’ve broken the law and they leave garbage all over the desert. And they’re dependent on evil “coyotes,” i.e. men who smuggle immigrants into America for profit.
Knoblock isn’t on the side of the open-borders advocates. He lets Morones speak his mind, but he knows the man’s assertions about illegal entry are worthless compared with what Moreno, Hayworth and a few others have to say. I wish the film had spent a little time on the economic costs of massive immigration but it isn’t an analytical work and, withal, simply assumes the audience knows those costs are there. And we do know it, do we not? It is enough that Knoblock is alarmed by how many people are getting in. An Arizona rancher tells Rep. Hayworth that he once asked a coyote, “How many [immigrants] make it through?” The coyote answered, “They all make it through.” Sounds unsustainable to me.
Border War is a dark conservative film which wholeheartedly wishes to persuade liberals and conservatives alike that what’s going on is important. . .
It is still relevant.