So I see that Morgan Spurlock, the guy behind the movie Super Size Me where he ate only McDonalds food for 30 days, has a series on FX called 30 days. I caught a commercial today that it was on illegal immigration tonight so I just had to watch. Actually they billed it as on "immigration", but there wasn't a whole lot on immigration, It was all on the illegal variety. This is a nice little trick those in favor of illegal immigration use. They lump all immigration in one basket. You're either in favor of immigration or against it -- whether it's illegal immigration or not.
Well I just finished watching it and here is the premise. A member of the Minuteman Project who patrols the southern border is going to go live with a family of Mexican illegal aliens for 30 days. You can see the slanting of the piece from the very beginning "we're going to show this 'vigilante' [as they call him in the beginning of the show] the errors of his ways." Oh he's also labeled as anti-immigration of course. Not anti-illegal immigration, just anti-immigration in all forms.
We have to give casting some credit here. They managed to find the stereotypical illegal alien family that proponents of illegal aliens wish to conjure when they discuss the issue. You've got the dad, a hard working day laborer. You've got the stay at home loving mom, who collects cans on the side to just make a living. You've got two kids who were born in America and are therefore American citizens (we can't deport them because of the kids!). You have the eldest 3 kids who originally crossed the border with their parents illegally. One daughter who has a 3.8 grade point average and applies to Princeton. One who seems to be ignored -- maybe she has bad grades or has something they didn't want to focus on. And finally an older son that they didn't say much about.
Prior to him moving in they show a discussion between the mother and eldest daughter. The mother not wanting a "blue eyed gringo" to be the one coming, but her eldest daughter pointing out that if he is Hispanic it would be even worse because he would be against his own race of people. The mother agrees that having a Hispanic would be even worse after she thinks about it for a second. I mean it'd be so much easier to point out how hateful he is if he was a blue eyed, blond Nazi racist. So "Frank" the Minuteman -- who happens to be a legal immigrant from Cuba -- moves in. The show makes sure to include the statement that he'd like to call "INS" within the first 30 seconds.
Everything is cordial initially until there's a discussion between Frank and the eldest daughter. They argue over illegal status with the eldest daughter falling back on the "America is a nation of immigrants" and "we're just here for a better life" stance. Frank's argument is "illegal is illegal". They don't get much further into Frank's other points -- if he had any. There's nothing about the costs of illegal immigration. There's nothing about its impact on the education system, congestion, taxes and crime. There's also no pointing the finger at Mexico.
They do show a patriotic outburst from Frank when the family takes him to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate the eldest girl graduating from high school. Frank gets frustrated and rants about how this is an invasion, not just an orderly influx of immigration as in the past. He's egged on by a liberal teacher of the eldest daughter who obviously sees no problem and would probably be happy with everyone in Mexico moving here. It always amazes me how much teachers don't do their homework on this issue. Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy that this girl worked hard to get good grades and to graduate, but the one sided view of the issue was just too much. Nothing on how much educating her has cost taxpayers of this country. Nothing on how much her parents have not paid in taxes. Nothing about the bad sides of illegal immigration at all.
They send Frank to Mexico to visit the father's brother who still lives there and the squalor the family lived in 12 years ago. Yes it is truly sad. There is no doubt that Mexico is poverty-stricken. There is no mention at all as to why this is or what can be done about it. Most of the fingers are all pointed at how evil Americans are that want to deport these hard working people.
During the making of the show the Senate bill on Comprehensive Immigration Reform was working it's way through Congress and the family seemed excited at seeing the chance they could be legalized. Frank states that he's against the bill and amnesty. The oldest son goes on about how he could then start his own business and hire "both legal and illegal workers alike". I'm really surprised that the one sided editors of this show let that slip through. It just shows that with even legalizing all of the illegal aliens it will only broaden the situation of illegal immigration as those new people who receive citizenship through amnesty -- and haven't shown any respect for our laws -- will not follow the laws once they are legalized. It was a passing comment they let slip through, but it is very telling of the mindset of illegal aliens. They've been trained on how American business works by their employers. That you hire cheap illegal labor and pay them poverty level wages. It's sad that the lessons they have learned is that for success in this nation you have to ignore all the laws.
The eldest daughter takes Frank to one of the illegal alien amnesty marches that was held in Los Angeles in April and May of 2006. I'm assuming it's a later one and not the initial one because American flags were prevalent, whereas in the earlier rallies it was almost entirely Mexican flags. The organizers put out the word that marching through our cities with foreign flags was just pissing Americans off, so the later rallies were more red, white and blue. Frank mentions that it's all just a front, but the editors of the show don't explain why he would say this. It's obvious that with the major changes in the flags being shown within a week that Frank obviously was commenting on the fakeness of it all. Those watching the show that haven't been following the issue wouldn't notice this and just see Frank as a stubborn ass. Frank also points out the numerous hateful banners and Che Guevara posters
The show ends up with Frank getting soft on immigration and having feelings for these people. There is no doubt that they are nice people, anyone would be able to see that, but that's an emotional take on the issue. Emotions are notoriously not the best guidance on solutions to a problem.
Maybe next time they'll slant the show the other way and show the realities of illegal immigration. Maybe stick Frank in with a family that has kids who are in Mara Salvatrucha or a family that lives in a house with 3 other families and lives off welfare using fraudulent documents. Or maybe a family who espouses Aztlan and reconquista. Let's put the realty of illegal immigration out there rather than sugar coating it with a very carefully picked family that fits the needs of the bias of the shows makers.
In the end the eldest daughter doesn't get accepted to Princeton, but she does get accepted by Santa Clara University and was excited. Maybe they should have then went to the home of an American child who was denied entry to the college because an illegal alien had been accepted in their place.