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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18 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Jon Jonzz

    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?

  2. Jimmy Parker

    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.

    1. Andreas

      Do that to your children.
      If you don't have. there's is your mother.

    2. Andreas

      Quite ignorant the "gringos".
      Read a book of basic American History.
      Then, talk.

  3. frank

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

    1. Jimmy Parker

      It was not stolen. There were Mexicans fighting with us against taxes put on them like the British put on us. Plus, Mexico is under the leadership of the Drug Cartels or, government backed by the Drug Cartels. Which ever way you want to look at it.

    2. Margarett

      Stolen, now that's hilarious

    3. Margarett

      When Clinton was President he offered Mexicos president Fox help getting rid of the cartels. But Fox insisted he had everything under control, he failed to do anything. I remember when the peso was around 5 to the dollar and here we are 25 years later and now it takes almost 25 pesos to buy a dollar. So now they feel the need to flee instead of taking their land back. Their Government won't help them be cause again the President of Mexico refuses military help.

    4. Dee. Gee

      What they need to do is evaluate the people already in the states in the detention centers and keep the ones who have been working in the u.s. without getting in trouble. A lot of the people being deported is being caught at the jobs, people who are trying to make an honest living, who do not bother others, the only crime they have committed in to cross illegally. I said give them the opportunity just like many others have been given the opportunity from other countries.

    5. Dee. Gee

      I can honestly said that there is no illegals in stolen land. Everyone in the U.S is a newcomer, just some "late" newcomers, they arrive late to the "free legalization" given to the people with European descent.

    6. Dee. Gee

      give them the land, where people do not want to go and live, Like Vermont.

  4. McDavid

    Build the Wall!

  5. 2 cents

    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.

    1. Sean

      Lol... You also have to have proper documentation and legitimate reasons for entering Canada... There are customs processes they would have to go through and this would be exceedingly difficult for Mexicans without proper paperwork to get through...

      If they had the paperwork to travel to Canada, they would have the paperwork and justification to travel to America legally, making the whole phenomenon of crossing the border illegally redundant... Of course, in reality, the people crossing the border are the ones that DON'T have proper identification, paperwork, legitimate travel justifications, etc... They are the people that COULDN'T get through customs in Canada to then illegally cross the Canadian/USA border...

      Fences have worked for thousands of years... We just have to be serious about enforcement, and buttress the wall with every method we can...

    2. Dee. Gee

      Do you think, they have not tried it already? Canada has stricter laws and customs then the U.S.

  6. Jim Freedom

    Good documentary.

  7. Sharon Shea

    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.

    1. Urban dweller

      Will the wall keep out Purdue Pharma of the white American owned company of the Sackler family which has killed over 50,000 people with their opioid epidemic? As well as creating millions of older addicts who have never been addicted before? It seems the wall would protect Mexicans from billion dollar US corporations gone rogue!