By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

Another documentary that focuses on the issues and problems with the immigration system in the United States is the Hecho En Tejas spotlight film Missing In Brooks County. The Hecho En Tejas category highlights films made in Texas, and this particular film is probably the best one that I watched from this more specific line up of programming. Directors Jeff Bemiss and Lisa Molomot show their audiences the horrific impact that our immigration system has had on the lives of people desperately seeking better lives in our country.

In Brooks County, Texas, there exists a border patrol checkpoint to make sure no illegal immigrants get too far into the state. While that little bit of information might seem reasonable to some people, that particular checkpoint is the reason so many illegal immigrants trek through a perilous stretch of land where many die of either thirst, hunger or exposure. In fact, the area has become so infamous that humanitarian activist Eddie Canales has gotten involved by providing much needed water in various barrels he has placed in the area. He has also worked with the families of several immigrants who have disappeared after traveling through those territories. The filmmakers interview these distraught families who are clinging onto to the hope that their beloved family members can be found or rescued, but the sad truth is the many remains of people found dead in these fields are more than often the proof that their relatives did not survive the treacherous trip.

This is a tremendously important film that everyone in America needs to watch. It is rather easy for most of us to point fingers and complain about illegal immigration in this country, but these vain gripes show that we are forgetting that immigrants are people desperately escaping a country where the struggles can be far worse than those of the citizens here. The film serves as an eye-opening and often maddening expose’ that shows the very ugly side of immigration enforcement and the lack of humanity it reflects on the staunch supporters of the stringent and intense measures taken to deter people from immigrating here. Missing in Brooks County begs its audiences to find it within their hearts to really reevaluate their views and opinions on the issue of immigration and demands some very much needed reform from our government.

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