15 September 2008 ~ 0 Comments

Documentary 'Border' – Masquerading as Neither 'Left' nor 'Right'

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From the Press Release (propaganda) of this new pro-restrictionist, pro-Minutemen ‘Documentary’ called ‘Border’:

The shocking documentary ‘Border’ shows how a porous border and limited enforcement enables human smugglers and drug traffickers to extort, rape, murder and humiliate those seeking a better life in the United States.

Destroying the notion that those who want to secure the border are racist xenophobic bigots, filmmaker Chris Burgard shows how the predominantly Hispanic property owners and law enforcement personnel on US side of the border are fighting a war against drug cartels that move people and drugs across the unforgiving and desolate desert terrain.

Contrary to the talking points of the so-called ‘immigrants rights’ groups, Burgard shows how illegal immigrants are sometimes locked into indentured servitude to the smugglers who’ve delivered them to safe houses in cities like Tucson and Phoenix. The smugglers, commonly known as ‘Coyotes,’ threaten to kill the families of the newly arrived immigrants if they don’t pay extortion money. Sometimes, this servitude can go on for years.

The claims made in this press release are ludicrous. Pro-immigrant rights group online such as The Sanctuary have never supported the smuggling of ‘illegal immigrants’ and indentured servitude. We even have huge reservations about guest-worker programs that could potentially create a separate class of laborers more prone to exploitation.

Furthermore, the documentary deceptively tries to claim that since immigrants trying to come into the United States through porous borders have to undergo extraordinary dangers, border enforcement works in favor of these immigrants?! What? First, try telling that to the families of migrant workers that are shot by the U.S. border patrol. Second, if the borders were indeed so ‘porous,’ wouldn’t coming over be child’s play? And third, do you seriously expect us to believe that the Minutemen are patrolling the border to protect ‘illegal immigrants’ and stop drug cartels? The fact that the documentary symphatizes with the Minutemen should be enough to stray clear of it.

The biggest fallacy of the documentary is the assumption that border enforcement is somehow the solution to ‘illegal immigration’ and all the dangers surrounding it. However, if immigration from Mexico and Latin American countries was easier, if people did not need to wait in line for 20 years to reunite with family, if the category for unskilled work visas was not riddled with bureaucracy, if migrant workers could migrate easily across borders, they would not be desperate enough to hire coyotes, risk exploitation and harm crossing over the desert terrain or Rio Grande.

If, in Latin America, the United States did not support the disproportionate elite & multinational corporation ownership of lands primarily used for agriculture that consequently prevented people from sustaining themselves, if it did not ruin economies and livelihoods by waging a war against narcotics while simultaneously selling those narcotics to arm reactionary movements, if this country worked to make labor as free and mobile as capital, a large number of migrants would have no reason to flee ‘North’ in order to survive and make a living.

The border, and enforcement of walls erected to keep out the unknown–whether it is done in protection of or from the unknown–still constructs and reifies differences, still otherizes. The documentary is simply more nativist propaganda masquerading as impartial ‘truth.’

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