90 minutes, released in September 2012
Directed by Peter Getzels and Eduardo López; based on Juan González’s 2000 book of the same name
This is an important effort to start what labor activist and Black Commentator editor Bill Fletcher, Jr., once called “the discussion that is not happening”—the discussion of the root causes of the wave of unauthorized immigration to the United States since the 1960s.
Focusing on six Latin American countries--Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Nicaragua—the directors use archival footage and interviews to show how U.S. support for brutal dictators like Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo spurred immigration; how economic exploitation by U.S. companies and their desire for cheap labor in this country brought people here from Puerto Rico and Mexico; how the devastating U.S.-sponsored wars in Central America drove hundreds of thousands to seek refuge in the United States in the 1980s; and how the “free trade” policies embodied in NAFTA and similar agreements brought millions more from the region over the past three decades.
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