Monday, March 30, 2009

DVD on the Border Wall

The Border Wall, JV6483 .B67 2008 at Classified Stacks, is a new DVD of interest to people interested in immigration policy or environmental law (or both!).
The Border Wall is a new documentary from filmmaker Wayne Ewing about the attempt by the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Michael Chertoff to erect 670 miles of walls along the 2000 mile southern border of the United States in the waning days of the Bush administration.

The Border Wall examines the effect of the Wall where it began as a double fence in San Diego in the 1990’s. Local activists argue that militarization of the border and the walls have simply driven undocumented aliens to cross through more dangerous terrain, causing the deaths of over 5000 people. However, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R., CA) – the author of the Secure Fence Act of 2006, claims that there was a 50% drop in crime in San Diego County after the walls went up along the border, and that the wall saves lives.

In Arizona, The Border Wall looks at the seven miles of wall recently built near Sasabe, and discovers a horde of illegal immigrants simply going around the end of the wall into mountainous terrain where the filmmakers find two Mexican ladies lost and terrified. Undocumented immigrants dying of thirst in the desert often find help from No More Deaths, an organization of volunteers dedicated to saving lives in the desert of Southern Arizona, and the film follows them patrolling the desert, and cleaning up the immense amounts of trash left behind by migrants.

Also in Arizona, The Border Wall examines a legal challenge by the Defenders of Wildlife to wall construction in the fragile San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area which was at first successful in the fall of 2006 in persuading a federal judge to halt all construction. But Secretary Chertoff invoked the extraordinary power given him by Congress with the Real ID Act of 2005 to waive any law that he determines stands in his way of building the wall. Chertoff waived 19 laws.
You can see a preview here.

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