The episode was engaging for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that it put a face on the issue of immigration in all its forms, both legal and illegal. By the end of the show, this very welcoming, friendly and happy family had pulled Frank's heart-strings and captivated the public. It was easy to sympathize with the family and the desperation of illegal immigrants everywhere portrayed quite clearly when Spurlock visited the family's former home in Mexico and documented its squalor.
Frank welled up several times during the show, but despite efforts by the the program's editors to portray him as a "changed man," he stated after the show that he remains convinced illegal immigration is wrong and does more harm to America than good.
Latest DevelopmentsHis resolve may seem surprising, considering how close he became with the Gonzalez family, but his position was vilified in 2009 as a rash of kidnappings occurred in Arizona as a direct result of illegal immigration. Members of Mexican drug cartels, in the US illegally, would kidnap American citizens for ransom, and send the money across the border, where its value was inflated. While the kidnap victims were often the relative of a drug-trafficker, they were just as often the relative of an immigrant smuggler. Phoenix became the kidnap capitol of the US in 2009, with more incidents than any city in the world -- except for Mexico City.
Immigrant smuggling has become more popular in US states bordering Mexico because a load of 30 immigrants can net the smuggler anywhere from $45,000 to $75,000.
Very often, conservatives favoring immigration reform will couch the issue in terms of "national security." Illegal immigration goes well beyond the US/Mexico border, and kidnapping isn't the only problem. In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, it was revealed that all 19 hijackers entered the US with valid documents. Some, however, had committed fraud to obtain them. The fraud was easily perpetrated thanks to glaring and easy-to-fix loopholes in the US visa system.
BackgroundThe issue of illegal immigration is very different from the issue of immigration itself. While most conservatives have no problem with immigrants, there are conflicting opinions about illegal aliens. Conservative opinions are as complex as the issue itself.
So-called "law and order conservatives" favor tightening the US border and deporting illegal aliens back to their countries of origin -- wherever they may be. Reflecting the growing dependency on illegal labor in the US, so-called "business interest conservatives" favor easing immigration restrictions and acknowledging the economic importance of immigrant workers.
Americans willing to work hard should be able to make a decent living.Unfortunately, the problems with illegal immigration interfere with this idealistic point-of-view. High-paid American workers "willing to work hard" are often laid off, because illegal immigrants are willing to work just as hard, but for a lot less money. Illegal laborers actually drive wages down -- and ultimately take jobs away from American workers.
-- President Barack Obama
While many illegals are indeed doing the work most Americans don't want to do, many other undocumented immigrants are climbing the economic ladder even in a tough American economy. This can actually create a problem for INS officers seeking to deport illegal aliens. With millions of them gainfully employed and failing to draw attention, their undocumented status makes them difficult to find to deport.
One of the major contributing factors to illegal immigration is the fact that the employment rate in Mexico, which has never been especially sturdy, is reaching alarming lows.