Illegal immigration, children focus of moving documentary “Which Way Home”

I just finished watching the Academy Award nominated documentary called “Which Way Home”, which profiles children migrating from Central America and Mexico to the United States with dreams of a better life.

For some, it means finding a parent who left to find work in the States and never came home. For others it means escaping an impoverished or neglectful homelife.

While the film doesn’t focus on child trafficking, you don’t have to look too deeply to understand how children can essentially disappear off the face of the earth at the hands of smugglers and traffickers. Promised entry into the States, some are handed from smuggler to smuggler, and if they’re lucky taken into custody by immigration before something horrible happens to them. A few make it to their destination, alive but scarred physically and emotionally.

Others simply fend for themselves, hopping trains that take them further and further north towards to America, where cities gleam and jobs await, and the prospect of crossing the desert while avoiding immigration – and death – is just a fairy tale.

 But it’s estimated that the Border Patrol apprehends 100,000 children trying to enter the U.S. Children, not adults. No one really knows how many children make it to the U.S., give up and go home, or die in the desert.

Watching the documentary, I was left unsettled. I’m all for enforcing immigration laws, but there’s a human side to every political issue that needs to be handled with compassion. Sending a child home to parents who abuse him isn’t necessarily the answer. But what can person could do? Sponsor a child looking for a better life? I don’t know. I don’t have the answer.

If you get time, check out “Which Way Home.” I watched it on Netflix via my Roku. You can see the trailer and learn more on the film’s website. I’d love to know what you think.

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2 responses to “Illegal immigration, children focus of moving documentary “Which Way Home”

  1. I know this is an old article, but i saw that movie in 2010. Very touching, very disturbing, really. I was born the US, my family is Latin American, so i have a natural sypmathy for these people. To hear children tell the cameras about how evil and cruel humans can be to one another, including to young children, is a very disturbing. There was what i would estimate to be one six year old girl with her 3 year old brother, who were interviewed at one of the stops set up to tend to the “moscas” – water, food, mattresses to sleep. How they were there, how they could be there in that situation is something i could scarcely deal with as i watched. I think i began to suppress the gag reflex when they said they were trying to get to a place called Minnesota. Either at the end of the film, or soon after they faded from the interview, the producers revealed that the whereaboutrs of this young girl and her brother were unknown.

    I think about that little girl and her brother very frequently. I’m not a consistently practicing Catholic, but i do pray whenever i do that those two kids are ok, somewhere safe, fantastically hoping they did not become innocent victims of unspeakable crimes.

    It is a great film, which should be mandatory viewing for any politician with the honor and privilege to vote in Congress.

    God bless those people.

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