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Crossing Arizona explores the varied political, practical, and humanitarian stances of people directly involved in the Arizona immigration influx. It gives voice to the frustrated farmers who day after day repair fences and pick up trash; the humanitarians who place water stations in the desert; farmers who depend upon the illegal work force; political activists who rally against anti-migrant ballot initiatives, and the Minutemen, armed citizens who patrol the border.
It is estimated that 4,500 undocumented people try to cross the Southwest’s Sonoran Desert each day. Heightened security in California and Texas pushed the illegal border-crossers into the Arizona desert. The U.S. Border Patrol recorded 253 immigrant deaths in 2005 in Arizona.
Though the initial focus of the documentary was to cover the humanitarian crisis in Arizona, it evolved to include the political debate on immigration and, through the eyes of people with differing agendas, it cast a spotlight on the inadequacies of U.S. immigration policy in the region.
Director/producer Dan DeVivo is a graduate of Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology and a penchant toward independent documentary filmmaking. Based in New York City, he has worked on several projects including Counting on Democracy, We Are Family, and Refusing to Die: A Kenyan Story. His goal with Crossing Arizona has been to put a human face on the issue of immigration.