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August 3, 2012 0

New Documentary Portrays Negative View of Immigration in the U.S.

Den­nis Lynch

A new doc­u­men­tary, “They Come to Amer­ica,” writ­ten and directed by Den­nis Lynch, a for­mer entre­pre­neur turned film­maker, has caused quite a stir in anti-immigrant cir­cles over the past cou­ple of months. In the doc­u­men­tary, Lynch trav­els the coun­try inter­view­ing peo­ple about undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion. Lynch talks to fig­ures from anti-immigrant groups such as Num­ber­sUSA and the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR). Lynch also inter­views Glenn Spencer of the anti-Hispanic hate group Amer­i­can Bor­der Patrol.

Lynch attempts to por­tray both sides of the immi­gra­tion debate by inter­view­ing peo­ple on the “pro-immigrant” side of the spec­trum, as well as undoc­u­mented immi­grants, but the film’s con­clu­sions are clear: undoc­u­mented immi­gra­tion has no pos­i­tive impact on the United States. In sub­se­quent inter­views, Lynch fur­thers his argu­ment by claim­ing that the United States needs to lower the amount of legal immi­grants it admits per year – a posi­tion taken by many anti-immigrant groups.

Lynch spends a lot of time on cam­era with Roy Beck, founder of the anti-immigrant group, Num­ber­sUSA. Beck pre­vi­ously worked as the Wash­ing­ton Edi­tor of The Social Con­tract, an anti-immigrant jour­nal pub­lished by racist John Tan­ton. Beck also spoke at the 1996 national con­fer­ence of the Coun­cil of Con­ser­v­a­tive Cit­i­zens, a white suprema­cist orga­ni­za­tion. Jack Mar­tin from FAIR is also inter­viewed at length. FAIR, which pro­motes extreme anti-immigration views, was founded by Tanton.

In the film, Lynch also speaks with Michael Cut­ler, a for­mer fel­low for the anti-immigrant group Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS), another group that Tan­ton helped to cre­ate. Cut­ler cur­rently is a Senior Writ­ing Fel­low for the anti-immigrant group Cal­i­for­ni­ans for Pop­u­la­tion Sta­bi­liza­tion (CAPS).

Lynch has begun a tour to screen the film. Not unex­pect­edly, local anti-immigrant orga­ni­za­tions are host­ing the screen­ings. On July 17, two groups that FAIR lists as local affil­i­ates, Tex­ans for Immi­gra­tion Reduc­tion and Enforce­ment (TFIRE) and Immi­gra­tion Reform Coali­tion of Texas (IRCOT), along with Stop the Mag­net, a Houston-based group ded­i­cated to get­ting anti-immigrant mea­sures on the bal­lot in Hous­ton, screened Lynch’s film.

On July 12, Lynch was on “The Ruthie Report,” a radio show hosted by Ruthie Hendrycks who runs the anti-immigrant group, Min­nesotans Seek­ing Immi­gra­tion Reform (MINNSIR). MINNSIR is also listed on FAIR’s web­site as a local affil­i­ate for Minnesota.

In Mary­land, Lynch’s film will be jointly hosted on August 8 by the anti-immigrant group Help Save Mary­land (HSM). HSM is listed on FAIR’s Web site as a local affil­i­ate for Mary­land. HSM has also worked closely with FAIR’s legal arm, the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI).

On August 10, the film will be shown at an anti-immigrant con­fer­ence in North Car­olina.

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