The media source that I analyzed is Border Hustle: Private prisons, smugglers and cartels cash in on migrants by The Texas Tribune and TIME (2019). This documentary is about a man named Carlos who crosses the border with his six-year-old daughter Heyli. This journey was hard because Carlos and Heyli were from Honduras, so they must first travel to get to the border through dangerous terrain, drug cartels, and the coyotes (people who smuggle immigrants). Once they reached the border and pawned their house in order to pay the cartel for crossing, they were finally across the U.S. border. After crossing, they surrendered to Border Patrol agents and were separated into different immigration camps. These immigration camps were over one thousand miles apart and made it impossible to keep in contact. Corporations like CCA have branches of private prisons that profit off of these migrant families. Another corporation that profits from imprisoning immigrants is The Geo Group Inc, and as stated in the reading from tuesday “[t]hese companies have multi‐year, multi‐million dollar contracts with ICE and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), creating a profiting system from immigrant detention (Department of Homeland Security, 2016)” (Menjívar, Cervantes, & Alvord, 2017).
The key points presented in this documentary is that the United States treats immigrants as if they are criminals and large corporations profit from this criminalization. This relates heavily to discrimination due to the stereotype that immigrants are drug smugglers or criminals in America. Instead of providing immigrants the proper tools in order to become citizens, we treat them as the enemy. The United States current administration has targeted sanctuary cities by cutting funding to not only the the immigrants, but the American citizens until they “cooperate with federal government in the enforcement of immigration laws” (Martínez, Martínez‐Schuldt, & Cantor, 2017). This creates the insinuation that criminalizing immigrants is rewarded financially, while pardoning and helping immigrants is punished financially. Mass incarceration has affected minorities at an alarming rate and has damaged their community financially, psychologically, and physically given the neglect within these prison systems.
This documentary exposed the heartbreak that families go through within the criminalized immigration system. It goes along with what we have talked about in class in regards to how difficult the system is on the immigrants in it and how the U.S. will go as far as harming their own citizens in order to receive compliance on the immigration laws. What I had not understood was how difficult the journey could be to even make it to the border. Immigrants will lose everything they have in order to cross the border only to be treated as criminals and be separated from their families whenever they do. I would recommend others watch this documentary in order to fully understand the effects that this system has on the people within them as well as how much it takes for immigrants to get here.