The Empire's War on the Border

2016, Society  -   27 Comments
Ratings: 6.35/10from 88 users.

With the recent uprise of terror and bloodshed in regions across the globe, the conversation surrounding the immigration crisis has reached a critical boiling point. This is particularly true in the United States where the presidential election cycle has been awash in tough talk and political platitudes regarding the security of the nation's border to Mexico. The Empire's War on the Border transcends this shallow narrative by exposing a hauntingly tragic and deeply human dimension to the crisis.

Produced by the acclaimed investigative series The Empire Files, the film places journalist Abby Martin on the front line of the struggle. The insights she uncovers are as devastating as they are illuminating, and they often run counter to popular political rhetoric.

Within the first five years of President Obama's administration, a record number of nearly two million illegal immigrants were deported. Many points of entry into the United States have a greater militarized presence than ever before, a factor which has forced immigrants into taking more isolated and perilous routes. As a result, the desert is now littered with the remnants of the dead. In Arizona alone, over 7,000 human remains have been found along the border since 1994. These are the bodies are men, women and children who travelled an unspeakably treacherous journey to find a more blessed existence for their families in America. Government and law enforcement agencies have deterred the work of humanitarian groups like No More Deaths - whose volunteers set out jugs of water and other potentially life-saving supplies along the border route - with the threat of penalties related to littering and aiding and abetting terrorists.

As detailed in the film, the continuation of this crisis also spells big business for some. Enacted in 2005 by the Department of Homeland Security, Operation Streamline has empowered the prosecution of illegals to an unprecedented degree. In Texas, the incarceration of illegal immigrants entering the country has flooded the for-profit private prison system with a windfall of more than 1.2 billion dollars.

The political debate over immigration policy is complex, and encompasses issues related to national security, socio-economic concerns and human rights. The Empire's War on the Border clarifies much of this debate by framing it around the common human struggle for a better life.

More great documentaries

27 Comments / User Reviews

  1. naveen greektown sreedevan

    Hollywood present: Building THE WALL -border war triology
    part 1 -learning from china

    Several centuries before China did what USA wants to do build a wall. Yet the ignorant white trash keep complaining that china is copy cat.
    I hope these bufoons of the anglo-saxon tribe who conquered America in the 18th entury by killing hispancis, red indian /natives realise the whites are the copy cats and not China.
    Reagan did the right thing. Holistic approach. amnesty.

    Lesson from china: wall does not help. it does not stop conquerors/mirants and neither does it keep internal affiars normal. dogs will be dogs, drugs addicts will remains so.

    so Trump can learn from china and not copy china. Walll is only politica to make people slaves. and who will buildthe wall? of course the illgals will be hired.

  2. Gary

    Abby also makes wonderful documemntarys denying Maduro's cruelty in Venezuela and "what we see on camer is not the reality there... as its a massive set up by American media"..LMAO... Shes STILL one of Maduro's staunchest supporters as country literally crumbles and devours itself... Ive seen her do coverage on ground floor when street riots going on in Caracas and she walked around clueless...stopping at EVERY turn trying to tell viewers SHE JUST seen a American militry plane fly overhead...Her stupidity is nearly pandemic... She is a STRAIGHT sociolist through amnd through... and she has absolutely NO interest in ensuring her OWN countrys secuirty or welfare...

  3. Dino

    Start a hunting season for border jumpers, make a wall mount trophey out of thier heads

  4. Paco Loves his Taco

    Good documentary on proper treatment of illegal immigrants. Abby Martin seems to think that by crossing the border you are either considered a citizen or automatically gain citizen's rights. Yes, they are human beings, but countries have borders to protect their citizens -- from other humans and/or citizens of other countries that attempt to gain illegal entry. I don't see a problem with increasing border security if the current level of border security fails to deter. That is what you do -- like stiffer sentences for repeat offenders or more advanced home security if break-ins continue to occur.
    It really isn't the fault of the U.S. if invaders want to risk their well-being instead of follow the law. It is just like breaking out of prison -- it's your choice, but it's not without consequences.

  5. casey

    This is propaganda sucking up to immigrants who come to this country waving their mexican flag - they screwed up their own country now they brazenly come here DEMANDING the health insurance and telling us to get out. That's why they aren't wanted here their own country is trash and they want to trash ours and freeload in return for which they go marching picketing and demanding.

  6. Alonzo

    I really think that the time has come for millions of migrants to cross the southern border, turn all the catholic churches into mosques and assimilate into Mexicans into their kulture. If Sweden can do it why not Mexico?

  7. lindalou

    All of the horrible things going on in South America is a direct result of OUR "War On Drugs" and our "policy" of getting rid of Democratic regimes in order to steal their natural resources! Look at Panama and Nicaragua! The only illegals in the good old US are whites. We colonized this country and committed genocide to get rid of the real Americans.

    1. Gary

      So your going to actually go with the "blame the addicts" angle ya? LMAO.. We were the first people to actually develope a country and institute law... and I ahve news for you... even Brazilians are "Americans"..we are CITIZENS of the United States... and you before you go on with the native American Indian came FROM this land we took..THEY TOO migrated... they migrated from Russia... they just chose to remain a free grazing society until a group came along that established law and governemt and an actual country....

  8. jwinston

    What a prejudice hack of a writer. We ran the illegals out of Al. 2 years ago. You might remember, the lame stream. ohowsrupid jumped all over us. We were prepared for the illegal feds. coming after us. Lame stream? We are not PC here, so who gives a fiddlers damn about them. All we did to get rid of them was elect a man who promised to fix this Prob. He swore to jail anybody found working illegals. They were gone in a week. Hospitals, welfare programs, jails, and schools are back to running in the green now. The Fed. Gov. was given about 4 powers when it was created, they gave themselves the rest. Now they are corrupted by lobby billions. OUT LAW LOBBYING OUR GOV.

  9. red tortilla

    had to skip the beginning, the generic sad ass music and narration is an invasion of my mind, unless you're targeting an ignorant or slightly 'challenged' audience please let the facts guide the emotions.
    on another note, slashing water in the dessert? wtf.

  10. Some guy

    Sad but ridiculous. The woman dropping off the water said it herself. Once they get throuh the gauntlet these people get forced to work in unregulated conditions. I understand helping people but helping them to be pretty much slaves is counter-PRODUCTIVE. There are proper procedures to immigrate to any country legally and pay TAXES. If the border were a free for all and anyone could enter illegitametly then there goes all social programs and infastructure. I agree that it sucks but let's start being real and focusing on other avenues then just leaving water in a dessert to aid people to work in near to slave labour. Borders serve a purpose to protect citizens and their values. Saying that the government is wrong to have proper immigration procedures is absolutely absurd.

  11. An Educated Mexican-American

    Someone on here said Mexican's are looking for a quick fix? Did you watch the documentary or just decided to comment? These people are DYING. Walking miles and miles of pure desert. These people have families that they leave behind and they don't know whether they'll ever see them again because either they die or they can never return to Mexico. Yeah, that is an easy fix, not knowing if you're ever going to see your own mother or children again. You would not be able to wrap your head around everything that is happening in Mexico. This country is built on immigrants,most doctors in Michigan are Asian and most of the population in California is Hispanic. Nobody is trying to take your food, they are willing to WORK for it, something a lot of people in this country, are not willing to do. Do your research instead of letting your fear of your country being "invaded" overwhelm you.

    1. Gary

      They are also coming here for monitary gain.... they even admit it themselves.... stop with the "these people are literally dieing on there journey".. well thats fine if you want to believe that... anyone willing to drag there babys through that... you will have to forgive us if we dont share alot of sympathy... You know what WILL deter them from making this DANGEROUS journey? Ya me too... and get ready

  12. PhelanRocks

    I know that there are a lot of poor good people wanting to immigrate to the US, but there are many poor US citizens who need jobs also. If you open the borders, the whole country will collapse economically and crime will skyrocket. Borders protect the US citizens, who pay taxes and abide by it's laws. This documentary is bias and doesn't consider the greatness of those who pretect it. Our children deserve to have the opportunities that our forefathers faught to protect. They shouldn't have to compete with border jumpers.

  13. Ya want water do ya

    What I don't understand is if life is so bad down in Mexico, why don't its citizens fight to change it? Quit looking for the quick fix, the quick escape, and think long term future. Yeah, the fight is difficult, yeah its going to suck real bad maybe for a generation or even two, but for God's sake fight it out and make the change. I know that will never happen though. They do work hard, but have very little drive to make things better for themselves unless they can do it with the least amount of effort. Its a cultural thing I think. I'm not degrading them, but it is the truth. I suppose the same thing is happening in Syria. There are legal pathways to come into the U.S.. Millions of others have done it the right way. It might take some time, but it is legal. Anything else makes it criminal. That's just the way it is. Legal or Illegal. ILLEGAL. Not that hard to understand really.

  14. cdnski12

    Donny Trump has the answer ... Gastarbiters ... Guest Workers. Recruit the needed workers on annual permits. We have many Mexicans & Philippinos working in Canada. They generally go home Nov-April, as they don't like our cold winter weather. It works well for everyone. They send or take their money home. Many say it's much cheaper to live at home than stay in Canada.

  15. dewflirt

    Wow, poor USA. Imagine having a whole country hop the fence to scrump your apples, must be horrible having to share.

    1. Gary

      so exactly how many can we put you down for when it comes time to opening up our homes? You seem like such a giving soul? How many ? 2-3-4? How about a family of 6? And of course you will need to show proof you can provide medical for the poor old woman and in 4 babys.... America gives more than any country on earth.. she also STOPS giving when their "guests" STOP ASKING and START EXPECTING

  16. Jegger

    Absolutely nothing unbiased here. What is the country supposed to do? Let them all come in? Maybe even take over? Alright then, EVERY ONE from all over the world, come into America!!! Free for all. Just take everything you want-no questions asked. I have a suggestion: All in favor for all this mayhem, take them people in YOUR own home, feed them YOUR own food, give them YOUR houses and YOU, sleep outside, work for them and look after them. Problem solved. Don't subject the rest of us to this nonsense and force us to work for them under the name of Racism. Load of Bull.

  17. DAlexHoule

    Appreciate your post, Russ, as you illustrate most people can review such an emotional issue and drive straight to where we all need to take action. People do not willingly leave their homes. USA Americans have turned a blind eye to corporate America's greed which is destroying livelihoods in Central and South America while moving eliminating jobs in the US. Reduce immigration by buying only local products, made/grown in America. Promote sustainability and empower local people everywhere.

  18. Russ Tul

    Good documentary, thanks for downloading. But the root cause of the problem, which is fundamentalist capitalism and its dogma that the market will fix everything, was hardly examined here. Having crushed all progressive movements in South Amirica, the US brand of unrestrained capitalim is now reaping the fruits. The big agro businesses, subsidized by taxpayer money, are choking South America to death. The situation is similar in Europe. When will government realize that this is the basic problem and do something creative about it? Building high walls and gated communities is definitely not the answer.

  19. Linda Garland

    "No Human Being is illegal!"

  20. Roger Andout

    I thought this was going to be an impartial expose; but when you see the reporter carrying water...well then, hardly unbiased. Still, (if those were Border Patrol pers) destroying the water is not going to prevent those who come across it from attempting illegal entry as they are already present.

  21. bluetortilla

    You know, it's repugnant when a nations founded on the concept of 'inalienable' rights only applies those rights to its own citizens. But the probably is far deeper however, as the U.S. doesn't even do that.

  22. bluetortilla

    Ah, come on. We all know that these people have no rights at all and are treated like trash just as depicted here. You're comparing littering to genocide? Wow. Terrible review. Tear down the border!

  23. Notchbeard

    This is terrible. Leaving PLASTIC JUGS IN THE DESERT is littering... period. You may feel that your agenda or cause is important enoug to flout the law but must be willing to pay the consequences without trying to make it seem like it is an injustice. Also keep in mind you are encouraging these people to make the trip and for every life you save are putting two in danger. Terrible doc.

  24. Charlie Brown

    A documentary should not include, let alone rely on, the dramatic narration like this one. Present your case using facts and if it is a legitimate case then the messages will be heard. Including this emotionally based propaganda demeans the legitimacy of the documentary.