Why have millions of Mexicans and other Latinos fled their homelands and risked their lives to come to the U.S. in search of a job? Why are they living in the shadows, ever fearful of being discovered by the migras and of being deported?
Why is the United States, a nation of immigrants, which often welcomed and recruited millions of Mexicans workers in the past, now spending billions of dollars on walls, border patrols, detention centers and workplace raids to get them out and keep them out?
The issue is as complex as it is divisive. There are root causes, of course, and U.S. politics and trade policies have played a major role in producing today’s immigration crisis.
But the migrants themselves, real people with real experiences related throughout “Illegal,” are the most credible witnesses to the system gone awry as well as the injustices suffered and endured on both sides of the border.
Let them tell you their poignant stories. Rosa lost her husband to the drug wars and Rogelio lost his best friend in the desert. Ernesto lost his farm. Enrique was deported after a workplace raid. And Cresencio and Hector now are living the American dream, thanks to the amnesty program of the 1980s. That's just a sample.