A film out this week puts a spotlight on a surprising business that’s starting to attract a lot of attention in Mexico: an illegal immigration “theme park” of sorts, where people can pay a small fee to get a taste of what it’s really like crossing into the U.S. without documentation.
A trailer for the film, titled “La Caminata,” shows immigrant families running through the desert at night as men dressed up like border patrol agents chase them down, but it’s all supposedly just for pretend.
The filmmaker, Stanford documentary film professor Jamie Meltzer, discovered that the immigration tourism business has grown to employ about 100 people, which is roughly equivalent to one-third of the people living in and around the small town of Alberto.
Residents in the city put on the four-hour event once a week, letting anyone who pays $18 participate.
The event is part of a tourism revitalization effort in the town. However, a tour guide insists in the film’s trailer that it’s not meant to encourage illegal immigration.
This video is a trailer for “La Caminata,” published Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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