Just recently my girlfriend and I had the opportunity to see a very touching and well-made film titled: Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna).
The movie is about a Mexican boy, Carlitos, who, after his grandmother dies, decides to travel north to be with his mother, Rosario, living illegally in the United States.
Carlitos is pretty ingenious. He not only gets across the border by paying a Mexican-American couple with the money he has saved that was sent to him by his mother, the boy also hooks up with some other undocumented immigrants after almost being sold to a drug pusher by an addict.
Carlitos then helps picking crops in which the site ends up being raided by I.C.E. agents. Fortunately, after narrowly escaping the raid, he is able to continue his quest to locate his mother with some help along the way.
One man who also evaded the crop field raid reluctantly takes the boy under his wing in which they locate the boy's father who works in a warehouse store in Tucson, Arizona. Carlitos is also able to find work at a small restaurant in Tucson in which the odd couple split the pay between themselves while being able to sleep in a bedroom on the restaurant's second floor.
The two save up enough money to finally buy bus tickets to Los Angeles in which they must find the street corner where Carlitos's mother would call from that will, hopefully, lead the two to where she lives.
Under the Same Moon puts a human face on illegal immigration and is far better than a previous film called A Day Without a Mexican which, while making good points, fell short of hitting home about the effects of U.S. immigration policies.
I consider each and every immigrant here (legal or illegal) a hero. What I admire most about illegal immigrants is that they have broken the U.S.'s idiotic immigration laws. Undocumented immigrants make an informed choice to live in the U.S. rather than live in their native countries. Yet, once here, they relentlessly pursue finding employment and, once employed, work very hard.
New York Times columnist John Tierney made a good point in a column during the immigration debate a few years ago. He said:
Railing at [illegal immigrants] for breaking the law is not going to make them go home or stop others from following them here. Immigrants will cross the border one way or another. The more of them we let in legally, the better off everyone will be. Whether you welcome more immigrants, as I do, or whether you'd rather see fewer, there's no point in commanding the tide to ebb.
Even with immigration crackdowns, if someone is determined to get into the United States, they will.
The solution is not to halt or restrict immigration, but to make it easier to enter and leave the U.S. To do so otherwise, not only abridges the rights of immigrants and employers, but also sets a bad precedent for politicians to enact liberty-destroying measures, like more immigration controls or national I.D. cards.
While I think it should be kept to a minimum, screen immigrants that want to come here all you want. But don't prevent immigrants from coming here and don't make it difficult for companies to hire them.
Under the Same Moon not only shows the plight of undocumented immigrants, but also extols the virtues of hard work, independence, love, integrity and family. These are the values that immigrants bring with them and should be welcomed.
Unfortunately, today, they are reviled.
Hopefully, this movie will change the stereotype that illegal immigrants are bad people and lift immigration itself from the bad light it is under.
America can only benefit from more immigrants. Their hard work and ingenuity are reflective of the entreprenurial spirit that makes this country great.
Let them come.