Busted Halo
January 29th, 2010

Busted Borders: Benita (Mexico) – Video 2

"This is so much more than just numbers."


Benita describes how a routine traffic stop has turned her life upside down.

In episode one, Benita discusses her background and the difficulties she faced growing up.

With the help of a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, BustedHalo.com began covering the issue of immigration in a unique way. Instead of contributing to the glut of coverage about immigration, BustedHalo is featuring stories by immigrants themselves about the issue. We distributed Flip video cameras to undocumented individuals and agencies across the country and asked them to start video blogging for a period of at least three months.

Busted Borders is an attempt to use the web’s unfiltered nature to move the immigration debate away from abstractions and statistics. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, we hope to give a personal glimpse into the humanity of these strangers in our midst. For reasons of safety, some of the participants have opted to keep their last names and locations secret.

Busted Borders is an ongoing project and we are still in its early stages. If you or someone you know is interested in participating please contact us at borders@bustedhalo.com.

Busted Borders Producer: Bill McGarvey; Project coordinator: Mirlande Jeanlouis.

The Author : The Editors

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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Loard

    It should be made clear to all and sndury that a (libertarian) government’s proper role should be limited to police, justice, defence AND immigration/biosecurity. The latter is often omitted.

  • Tim Coleman

    Where is the emotional people on our Americans? Why do they just look at the Mexicans? Is it not smarter to look out for Americans and then worry about our neighbors to the south? I begin to question what country you are for, America or Mexico. Lets get America back on her feet first. FOLLOW THE LAW

  • Tim Coleman

    An illegal takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an “earned income credit” of up to $3,200 free. He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent.He qualifies for food stamps.He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care.His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school. He requires bilingual teachers and books.He qualifies for relief from high energy bills.If they are, or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. If qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicaid. All of this is at (our) taxpayer’s expense. He doesn’t worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance.Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material.He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits.

  • Tim Coleman

    I agree with you and you make very valid points, but please, follow the current law. This girl HAS broken the law and must be accountable for her action. The people who passed these laws knew what they were doing and they should be upheld. I think she was lucky they did not deport her right away. She tries to find any way to stay here, but really it is any way to break a Federal law.

  • Tim Coleman

    There is humanity in these issues but youare forgetting that we are a country of laws and these laws have been in place for a long time. These “people” are law breakers, they are felons, reguardlesss if they are human or not. If we have no laws we have no nation. Be careful what you teach our children.

  • barbara

    While I have a great deal of compassion for this woman in her current position, I feel that we are given only one part of this story. How did Bonita get into this country originally? Why has she no family in her homeland? It is admirable that she has had no problems with the law until now but obviously she has broken one law simply by being here, even though not discovered until her traffic violation. It renders our laws meaningless when we agonize over the plight of an individual forgetting the many who are awaiting entrance to our country by complying with the lawful procedures. This is only a partial story- one side of a story and more details are needed. I pray that Bonita finds a legal solution to her problem, but someone other than our country was the root cause of this problem. This part of the situation needs to be addressed rationally.

  • Greg

    Thank you for this video post. My students and I recently discussed issues of immigration and how we treat the “Other” while analyzing Jonathan Swift’s “Modest Proposal.” Benita points out that the immigration issue is “so much more than numbers…it is about people’s lives.” My students and I discussed the dangers of “reducing” people down to numbers. “Simplifying” is one thing: usually a tact taken to make an issue more clear. However, “reducing,” usually takes the form of minimizing the inherent worth of something, of breaking it down, which seems to be the case when looking at this issue, not through people’s eyes, but through the filter of numbers and statistics. When the narrator of the “Modest Proposal” seeks to solve the “problem of the Irish poor,” he approaches it from a statistical, or merely economic perspective, thereby leeching any of the humanity out of the plight of those who suffer.

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