Cast of Characters
Sheriff Joe Arpaio
is the sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona (county seat: Phoenix), and oversees one of the largest sheriff's departments in the nation, consisting of 900 deputies and a law enforcement posse of thousands of volunteers. Arpaio’s job also includes management of the Maricopa County jail, among other duties. His outspoken stance in favor of strong immigration law has made him a favorite of Tea Party activists and immigration restrictionist voters, but has also landed him in hot water with a long list of controversies, and led to him being successfully sued by the Justice Department for civil rights violations. Yet he remains popular with many local voters, having been elected six times.
is an undocumented businessman and homeowner who has lived and worked in Phoenix, Arizona for more than 15 years. Jorge owns an ice cream truck that he operates with his partner, Amparo Mendez.
is Jorge Martinez’s companion of over 15 years; they operate the ice cream business together.
is Jorge Martinez and Amparo Mendez’s son. He’s a typical American teenager, except that his father lives under the specter of deportation.
is a former Arizona state senator, Vietnam vet, successful businessman and longtime activist, he was first elected to the state senate at age 25 and served as the majority and minority leader. He wrote a book, To Sin Against Hope: Life and Politics on the Borderland.
is an organic cattle rancher in Patagonia, AZ, along with his wife Susan Blair. His ranch runs along the U.S./Mexico border and he has a unique, complex perspective on border problems as he sees many drug traffickers and undocumented immigrants come across his lands.
heads up the immigrant rights organization, Puente Movement, seen in the film. Formerly an undocumented immigrant, he was adopted as a child and became a US citizen. His son, Chimal, is also seen in the film, riding in the back of their car.
is an American politician and former Republican Arizona state senator who authored SB1070. He proudly descends from pioneer stock, admires John Wayne and is passionate about his country. While serving as president of the Arizona State senate, he was successfully recalled from office.
is a 60-something grandmother and an avid and active supporter of SB1070, Russell Pearce and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. She has appeared at many an immigration law rally with homemade picket signs.
is a founder of the Puente Movement. A powerful immigrant rights activist, he has made it his mission to document the stops conducted by Sheriff Arpaio’s deputies.
is a former businessman and the Republican mayor of Mesa, Arizona who in the film describes Arizona as “having two seasons, heaven and hell.” As of September 2013, Smith also serves as president of the United States Conference of Mayors.
was an Arizona State Representative at the time of filming and is currently a member of the US House of Representatives for Arizona's 9th congressional district as a Democrat. She is also the first openly bisexual member of Congress and currently the only avowed atheist.
Jennifer Allen was the director of the immigrant rights organization, Border Action Network, based in Tucson, AZ, for a decade before stepping down in 2011. She has also served as the interim director of the Arizona chapter of the Southern Border Communities Coalition.
is a deputy sheriff of Santa Cruz County. He patrols in the area of the Nogales, AZ border and sees a lot of the undocumented immigrants who come across the border through that corridor.
is a Republican Arizona state representative who in the film explains a bill he co-sponsors that would challenge the 14th Amendment on citizenship.
is a Republican Arizona state representative serving District 11 and former state senator for District 23 who, in the film, tells us that 30 other states have adopted or are trying to adopt Arizona-like immigration legislation.