Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Stakes of Immigration Law

People are often lost in the rhetoric and statistics cited in the debate on immigration reform. PBS ran a terrific documentary, The Undocumented, last week. The film tells stories of Mexican migrant border crossings from the perspective of US family members, Mexican family members, nonprofits, doctors that do the autopsies on discovered bodies, and the Border Patrol. For a short time (not sure how long this is), the film is available free on the PBS website.

With the continuing militarization of the border, the stories of people--children, mothers, fathers--crossing in more and more dangerous areas of the border show forces deeper than lawmakers acknowledge. Some cross to support their families, and others cross to reunite with family. One particularly moving story, a deported father who had lived for 26 years in the US told his US-born children that he would do whatever it took to see them again. He is missing.

While border stories only tell part of the story behind immigration reform, they do remind you of the human connections over space that has become a guarded geopolitical boundary. Recommended.    

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