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Crossing Arizona documenary on immigration worth checking out

Here’s an interesting resource from Lindsay Dedo, Director of Educational Programming at The Cinema Guild. Sounds like a good film to lead into a timely dialogue on immigration – in the classroom, in libraries, and elsewhere…

This past weekend, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed into law the “nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration,” (NY Times, April 23, 2010), which aims to identify and deport illegal immigrants from the state.  Highly controversial, the immigration issue has been a hotly-debated topic in Arizona politics in particular over the past few decades.  Rarely is this debate more thoroughly examined than in the award-winning film, CROSSING ARIZONA, a critical tool in educating students to all sides of this debate.

CROSSING ARIZONA, Directed by Joseph Mathew & Daniel DeVivo A Sundance festival favorite, Crossing Arizona offers a far-reaching and up-to-the-moment look at the hotly debated issue of illegal immigration as captured at America’s current flashpoint – the Arizona border.

With heightened U.S. security along the California, Texas, and New Mexico borders, each day thousands of migrants attempting to enter the United States are being diverted into the treacherous terrain of Arizona’s brutal desert. The perilous journey, which can take up to four days, has caused a dramatic rise in the number of migrant deaths. Those who make it through – the undocumented immigrants who live and work in the U.S. – invoke a wide range of impassioned responses over human rights, culture, race, class, and national security.

Seen through the eyes of frustrated ranchers, border patrol agents, local politicians, farmers dependent on an illegal work force, seasoned humanitarian activists, desperate migrants preparing for their journey north, and the Minutemen who have become darlings of the national media, this powerful documentary unveils the complicated dilemmas presented by the border crisis and the surprising political stances people take when immigration and border policy fails everyone, on all fronts.

* Selected for the 2007 Best Documentaries list by Video Librarian

“This documentary masterfully portrays the humanitarian, ethical, and legal concerns surrounding Latin American immigrants who illegally enter the United States.. Extraordinarily riveting! Crossing Arizona is highly recommended to all colleges and universities, as it is both timely and possesses wide utility. Those teaching political science, human rights, ethics, or sociology will find the film of particular interest.” – Educational Media Reviews Online

“A winner! An intelligent and perceptive examination of immigration… The film wisely remains objective and very informative while being totally engaging.. It is essential for public libraries in the Southwest and highly recommended for public and academic libraries with collections supporting immigration issues.” – Library Journal

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Sandy Heierbacher
Sandy Heierbacher co-founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) with Andy Fluke in 2002, with the 60 volunteers and 50 organizations who worked together to plan NCDD’s first national conference. She served as NCDD's Executive Director between 2002 and 2018. Click here for a list of articles and resources authored by Sandy.

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