‘They Come to America’, The truth about illegal immigration
April 29th 2012 · 4 Comments
Director of the popular “King of the Hamptons,” Dennis Lynch takes an honest, and brutal look at illegal immigration and its consequences on both sides in his new documentary film “They Come to America“.
Dennis Michael Lynch, the film’s writer, director and producer, has done what few documentarians ever successfully pull off. His film is a genuinely unbiased, balanced and in-depth look at one of the most divisive issues in the United States: illegal immigration.
There are powerful moments in this film, not the least of which is the daily presence of a sole man who stands by the 7-11 in Southampton each and every day protesting the gathering of illegal immigrants who are chosen for work – work he believes should go to Americans. He’s been there for over two years, and it presents a valid inquiry – just where have our local political leaders been? Not to mention that part of this project almost cost him his life after a run-in with a Mexican drug gang.
The creator of “They Come to America”, Dennis Lynch, traveled from his hometown of New York City to Nogales in November 2010 to capture the immigration situation on the border.
In one of the funnier moments of the film, Lynch and his crew find themselves several miles east of Nogales staring at the barbed-wire fence that separates Arizona from Sonora. “We saw chicken wire and half the vehicle barriers were knocked over. I mean, what’s the point of chicken wire?” Lynch said. “There’s nobody. There’s nothing.”
In addition to the security situation outside of Nogales, Lynch was also shocked by what he saw at the Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 19 near Tubac. A few months earlier, Mauricio had explained to him how he and other immigrants escaped detection at the checkpoint by lying down in a hidden compartment. “I was so disappointed with the checkpoint. I saw Border Patrol agents just standing around. There was one guy with a dog, but nobody was checking anything,” said Lynch.
He contrasts this with his experience after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “The security was unbelievable. If I would have had a butter knife in my car, they would have pulled me over and asked me why I had it,” he said.
He also visited Cochise County where he interviewed law enforcement officers, ranchers, and the wife of a National Guardsman who was deployed on the border.
We meet a contractor who blames immigrants exclusively for his unemployment. We hear from government officials how many hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes are lost each year and how many more millions are spent on governmental services for non-U.S. citizens. When it comes to the criminal element,Lynch is unflinching and never tiptoes around the issue of race; not all illegal immigrants come to America with the intention of making an honest living.
The term “must-see film” is so overused I hesitate to use it again, but “They Come to America” is worthy of the label.
Immigration is an issue that affects every one of us.
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