Two words used most often to describe the U.S. illegal immigration problem are – divisive and political. However a new documentary, Southern Exposure, provides a balanced look at the U.S./Mexican border and sheds light on America’s porous southern borders.
If you want a bird’s eye view of the tale of two countries and their respective border problems this two-hour documentary provides the good, the bad and the ugly issues that ranchers, law enforcement and lawmakers contend with on a daily basis.
The film focuses on four prominent topics; the threat to public health (environmentalists), cartels and terrorists, drug smuggling and finally Aztlan and Reconquista (redeeming parts of the southern U.S. land some Mexicans believe was illegally taken from them).
The filmmakers began their journey with one thing in mind - explore all aspects of the southern border. After three arduous years the balanced documentary was finally released. The footage primarily focuses on the Arizona portion of the border and interviewers manage to get U.S. Border Patrol Agents as well as local law enforcement to describe the sometimes harsh conditions that Americans who reside near the border are face with on a daily basis.
What compelled Stan Wald to take three years of his life to document what some call America’s third war? “Being close to the border, Jerry and I saw what was happening locally, but it was never reported by the main-stream media, so we began our research and discovered many untold stories."
“This out-of-pocket project was our way of saying thanks to those who still believe in the values of this great nation,” Wald explains. “Our hope is that those who watch will become better informed and just as angry as we were after investigating the back stories.”
For those who are curious about the painstaking journey that illegal aliens decide to take for a “better life,” Southern Exposure does not disappoint. The devastation illegal border crossers feel when they are apprehended is captured on film.
The documentary also provides an inside look at Border Patrol Agent’s job to track and arrest those entering the country illegally.
However, along with those “coming for a better life,” immigrants are an increasing number of drug smugglers, terrorists and other hardened criminals. Wald points out that this increasing danger along the border is evident with the recent murders of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and Arizona rancher Robert Krenz.
“Our southern border may be less porous than in past years, however, if it was as secure as Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says, Agent Terry and Mr. Krenz might still be alive today,” Wald said.
Combine these murders with the growing drug cartel/gang crime exploding in large and small cities in America and you have a recipe for disaster.
“The degree of increased violence throughout the country by illegal alien cartel members living here and the unstoppable drug trafficking is far greater now than ever. Napolitano and DHS officials have been misleading the American public with the seriousness of the problems,” Wald finishes.
Perhaps a lesser-known repercussion that illegal immigration brings to the desert is the environmental damage. The coyote (human smuggler) often uses the same path each time they lead a group of illegal aliens deeper into the U.S. and during the desert trek they leave behind an immense amount of litter, old clothes (that would identify them as Mexicans) as well as human feces.
While the environmentalists may not be quick to respond to the desecration of America’s desert region, Arizona lawmakers have been quick to draw up legislation in an effort to curtail the multi-billion dollar industry. Tougher laws, like SB1070, may have sparked a national backlash; it has also put the light a problem that will not go away on its own.
With the help of Wald, Southern Exposure provides lawmakers and the general public with first-hand knowledge of the complex illegal immigration crisis that American’s who live near the border face every day. Many remote desert residents admit that they are afraid to walk alone on their own property due to the increase of heavily-armed drug traffickers.
If there is one thing Wald wants Americans to take away from this documentary it’s the failure of the U.S. government to uphold the laws already on the books and protect the nation’s borders from dangerous criminal elements that not looking for that “better life.”
“The silence from the environmentalist organizations regarding the disease from illegal aliens and the dumping of hazardous waste in wildlife preserves is concerning,” Wald explains. “Also the political push to appease radical Hispanic activist groups for the sake of securing cheap labor and future voting blocs is harmful for Americans. And finally the unwillingness of many illegal aliens to assimilate with Americans” will only continue the border region quagmire.
What's more, at a Senate Homeland Security Committee meeting last week, a Federal Auditor asserted that the Border Patrol was only able to patrol and stop illegal aliens from entering America for approximately 129 -miles of the nearly 2,000-mile border. This well-known fact is not something lost by those who seek illegal entry into the country.
In the past four years there have been more than 35,000 murders related to the drug cartels in Mexico (that’s more than the Afghanistan and Iraq wars combined) and this violence has contributed to many illegals fleeing Mexico’s narco-state. In the end, Southern Exposure’s filmmakers hope their snapshot of border insecurity can assist lawmakers and law enforcement in their quest to protect the country from foreign threats.
To view the documentary trailer; http://www.southernexposuredocumentary.us/
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/kimberly-dvorak
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.