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.