Life in the Shadow of the Wall

Life in the Shadow of the Wall

2017, Politics  -   18 Comments
Ratings: 7.89/10 from 44 users.

During his campaign, President Donald Trump pledged the construction of an unbroken border wall between the United States and Mexico. It has long been one of his signature talking points, and a source of great controversy that continues to dominate headlines. In the insightful documentary titled Life in the Shadow of the Wall, BBC News travels the entire length of the border to get a sense of the practical challenges and human costs associated with this massive endeavor.

The journey begins in Reynosa, a border city that's become a breeding ground for the drug cartels. There, Mexican authorities are struggling to contain an abundance of smuggling activity, and are forced to contend with an increasingly sophisticated cartel operation that works to outmaneuver them at every turn. Worst of all, the department is painfully short staffed after they underwent a mass removal of corrupt agents. The cartels stand ready to confront, assault and recruit those who are turned away by U.S. customs agents.

The film puts a human face on political policy. It presents the viewpoints of people on the ground, including property owners who are being asked by Homeland Security to relocate, volunteer border deputies who consistently happen upon the remains of murdered migrants, and transport truckers who are threatened and forced to smuggle drugs and weapons into the country.

Along the way, the filmmakers consider the practicality of building such a long-winding structure through treacherous terrain, the determination of migrants who will not be dissuaded by the presence of a wall, and the economic impact that limited immigration might pose in border towns and throughout the remainder of the country.

It may be some time before a massive border wall can begin construction. Prototypes must be selected, budgetary concerns must be sorted out, and congressional approval must be achieved. Even if approved, the wall is only one part of the equation. Additional investments must also be made in personnel and technologies. Life in the Shadow of the Wall offers a valuable and well-rounded representation of what's at stake, and considers whether a wall is really the answer to U.S. immigration woes.

Directed by: Paul Ivan Harris

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Jon Jonzz
3 years ago

Dozens of nations have border walls. Such barriers are typically constructed for border control purposes such as curbing illegal immigration, human trafficking, and smuggling. No borders, no sovereignty. By region, the following have walls or barriers:
Asia, Europe, Africa, The Americas . Our wall is long overdue. It's ironic that before Trump's presidency , the Congress allotted 25 Billion for the wall. After he was elected, not one dime from the Democrats. Why?

Jimmy Parker
4 years ago

Mexico is dominated by drug gangs and drug money. That is why so many of it's people want to come over here. What we need to do is take Mexico over completely and turn it into a part of the US. They want to come over here anyway. Then take Drones and get rid of the drug cartels. Speaking of Drones, we should be doing tin Mexico what we are doing in the Middle East.

5 years ago

Maybe give all the land stolen from the Mexican back to them.

5 years ago

Build the Wall!

2 cents
5 years ago

I wish they would address the crossings from Canada, It is much cheaper to buy a plane ticket to Canada then it is to pay a smuggler 7000. What a futile fence, it only makes the US look desperate.

5 years ago

Good documentary.

Sharon Shea
5 years ago

Excellent documentary. Perspectives from a diverse section of people - Mexican, US, law enforcement, locals. The wall won't stop the determined. Best comment was how it's ignoring the real problem, which is drugs. The wall won't do anything about it.