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FRONTLINE / World That Summer Barbecue

August 2, 2009

VIEW -- Some video we think you've rarely seen: intimate glimpses of the lives that illegal Guatemalan workers left behind when they risked everything to come north to work in U.S. slaughterhouses.

Hundreds of them were returned to Guatemala after one of the largest immigration raids in U.S. history

The roundup was conducted May 12, 2008. The slaughterhouse where they worked was in Postville, Iowa, on the plains of America's heartland. It was the largest plant in the country dealing with kosher meat and chicken. U.S. Federal agents arrested nearly 400 undocumented workers, Guatemalans and Mexicans, who were earning $7/hour.

After viewing this clip, you'll want to watch the last part of this story here on FRONTLINE/World's Web site where you can explore more about this report.



this was really powerful. i'm glad their story is being told.

nancy / August 4, 2009 12:15 AM

As long as there is the level of greed and inequality that there is on the planet, no border fence will stop someone from wanting to feed their family. On the other hand what kind of greed can only pay $7.00 to grown men trying to feed their family.

I've seen the prices of meat in the supermarket, prices seem high enough for plenty of profit to provide higher wages. No wonder many steer toward drug dealing in our society, if society can't even provide living wages

Jacob / August 4, 2009 10:09 AM

Hey, I got a new idea! How about this ... if you don't have money, DON'T HAVE KIDS!!!!!!


Craig Eliot / August 5, 2009 12:00 AM

Life isn't fair. No one in Guatemala is entitled to work in the US without immigrating. The immigration system protects US citizens from once-extinct diseases and foreign criminals. What you might ask yourselves is what drove the meat-packers from Brooklyn to actively recruit illegal aliens.

James / August 5, 2009 1:22 AM

Compassion, sympathy, empathy... yes. However, these are not enough to justify illegal immigration and the illegal employment that spurs these people to come here. This includes the miriad of problems that follow; exploitation, the drug trade, violent crime, and disease. The USA is not the answer to the social ills that plague other countries. We have our own problems, and the sovereignty of our borders is only one of many. I don't care what ethnic background an illegal is, we have the right to secure our borders and protect our citizens.

Jeff / August 5, 2009 6:26 AM

Sorry, but the "don't have money/don't have kids" stuff is simplistic and moronic. This isn't what happens in poorer countries and the Third World in general. Some constructive criticism would be welcome. This kind of statement might be welcomed at RushLimbaugh.com, but it isn't here.

Rob / August 5, 2009 5:30 PM

The US is not the answer, but we are partly responsible for the situation; first it was a US corporation running the country like a slave plantation for decades (United Fruit-United Brands-Chiquita Brands, also in Cuba).

After the uppity Guatemalans started taking control of their own country back, we overthrew their government in 1954, after Iran. (Dulles Airport named after the jackass from CIA that did those)

Later waves of social unrest and violent revolution were logical consequences of our own actions and we still see problems deriving from our interference today.

Yeah, keep 'em from breeding; I wonder if Craig knows ANYTHING WHATSOEVER about this history. These are simple facts, not opinions.

We are the most ignorant educated country in the world.

Doug / August 5, 2009 5:34 PM

The point I got from the story was that most of these poor rent small homes. This is similar to what I see in Mexico. It's likely that there are afew very large land owners that basically rule these communities and make it impossible for the communities to grow and prosper. I believe this to be the real problem with Latin America where the majority of the wealth is in the hands of very very few people. This really is the primary reason that most leave. The governments of latin america desperately need to address this problem.

Lush lands like that of Guatemala should be yielding tons of food... agriculture, animals, as well as resources which are easily exportable and could provide for ample economic growth for the people.

Trever / August 5, 2009 11:37 PM

We hear so much about the illegal workers but still silence when it comes to the prosecution of corporations who hire. Maybe Craig's anger is misdirected and we should be looking at the real culprits.

Rich / August 6, 2009 1:04 AM

it's funny how America liberates countries from so call *socialism and communism* and leave those countries in disarray and blame them for trying to cross a border to get work to feed their families, you have to admire Castro, whatever is said about him, the education in Cuba is super high, the health care system is awesome and most cubans love their country.

sherika / August 6, 2009 6:17 AM

I bet you sympathizers are living in nice homes, have two cars, nice clothes and plenty to eat. It was our economic system that provided all this.
Don't blame the corpoarations that hire. Blame your government for no border inforcement or for free trade agreements that force our corp.'e to compete against $.50 an hour markets. So when we liberate someone we should stay forever? How about we don't liberate them in the first place?
You want to take care of the impoverished but you don't want the ills that come with it. First and foremost this is our country for our children. The Constitution does not address our responsibility to those who are not here leagally.

Paul / August 6, 2009 9:16 AM

Thiz Great Land waz invaded by Boat People over
the Great Waters. Once a land filled with mass
buffalo and scattered Soviergn Nations.
In CA Natives scalps were taken for bounty at one
time. Religion,language,culture forever changed.
How can a people lay claim they discovered America when thiz mighty land already occupied
by a People?

Tom / August 6, 2009 2:04 PM

I can't stand how people bitch and complain about losing jobs to imigrants at $7/hr when the real problem is corporations OUTSOURCING the jobs to India, China, Korea, Costa Rica, etc. by the 10s of thousands for even less! Much of the work is funded by city, state, or federal tax dollars which are being shipped out of the country and none of it being cycled back into the local economy. At least if they made these people citizens they would be forced to pay taxes and would perhaps spend some of their meager earnings locally.

Dave / August 6, 2009 11:36 PM

I am sad and hopeful for the plight of the people of guatemala...I have to agree with one of the last postings about how US multinationals controlled Guatemala and then overthrew the government covertly,,,,this situation had happened time and time again all over the south american continent and central america...we see the revolt of US control and manipulation by the multinationals over these contries and now the Continent of south america is going left and social...the disparity of wealth and lands is so unfair in those countries. Venezuela, bolivia, among others are now going socialistic to try to help the poor that have been disinfranchised by the elite for so many decades...well have to see what happens....

Vikingknight / August 7, 2009 12:09 AM

If you put a plate of food in front of a person who's begun to starve, can you expect him not to eat it? I would eat and, probably, so would you.

Ann / August 7, 2009 1:27 AM

The big trouble with Latin America is the awful corruption with their government starting off with Mexico.There's corruption in every area in those countries from every angle you look at.In the end the poor people just can't have a better life because their goofy leaders just think about themselves and don't give a damn about their own people.
America,however,must protect its own borders specifically from criminals who want to benefit from the wicked fruits of their crimes.
Nonetheless,a good solution for this immigration issue in America today in dealing with the more than 12 million illegals already living over there,would be to do the same thing that the Canadian government did here in Canada right in the beginning of the last decade.Let them stay in the country legally by requiring them to meet a certain number of points and certain criteria.
In order to stay legal in America,they should:
1)Speak English pretty good.
2)Have no criminal record in the country at all.
3)They must have lived in the country for at least 5 years in order to become a legal resident.
4)They must not have been on Welfare or applied for during all the time that they lived in America.
5)They should be charged a US$2.000 dollars fee for entering the United States illegally.
And the ones who can get approved should become legal in the country but with restrictions.Instead of getting a green card as many immigrants get in America,these other people should get a "Blue Card" with restrictions such as:
1)They can not become American citizens but only landed immigrants.
2)They could get a driver's license and be allowed to drive but with limit.
3)They could travel back to their countries but only for a certain period of time.
4)They could get jobs but only with certain positions.
5)They should never be able to vote for any election within the United States.
Here in Canada,there was a big refugee backlog in the early 90's and the government allowed many of the illegal immigrants to stay on "humanitarian and compassionate grounds" which is in no wise the so called "amnesty".
Y'see,with an amnesty any baloney they tell an immigration officer would be accepted because they'd already gotten an amnesty.However,on humanitarian and compassionate grounds they must be qualified first by meeting all of these requirements.It worked good in Canada and I think it should work good in the States too.Even Europe is trying to do the same now.
And especially now that America is broke I'm sure that the government could make a lotta money by charging some fees from those illegals who already live there in America.Who knows,it just might work out good.

J.C. / August 7, 2009 2:56 AM


Well written though all the above rules already exist, It is simply that they are not being enforced. They will never be. I am not sure who or what is behind the job telling the authorities to look away.

Accountability and checks and balances are the order of the day. Its that what democracy really means. By that I mean real accountability and not a eyewash.

Pay the law enforcing "really well" so they dont have to look at other venues of money and returning favors. Follow model in countries like Singapore where public service people are paid at par with private so they have no urge to earn an extra buck.

This runs so deep and wide in the USA. Just as the corruption you have mentioned in your post that happens in Latin America.

Corruption in latin america allows people close to the border. Corruption in the US lets them cross over, rest it tax payers burden.

Once they are here they should be tracked.Chip or whatever. Cant make that happen they will enjoy the fruits of our labor.

We ( in the senate) prefer to spend time debating about matters of least significance whilst the ones that need attention is left for the next generation of lawmakers to deal with.

Keep writing..

Kumar / August 7, 2009 6:24 PM

Hey Craig:

I know how you feel; however, many cultures on this planet have children, not just for having babies, but to help out on farms or pay debts via labor.

For many centuries in Europe(and even in America), the more kids you had, the better you were off maintaining a farm or even a plot of land just to eat.

Alphonso Montgomery / August 7, 2009 8:27 PM

Only more frightening than the story are the xenophobic comments on the website. These are hard working people doing the shit work in the US and suffering the entrapments of our immigrant policy.

Who is willing to do this work in the middle of nowhere in our country. We don't think about this when we make our endless purchases at the supermarket. Look how poor these people are and ask yourself if you would be willing to leave your family to travel thousands of miles from home it bring in food and rent. Then ask yourself if you would be willing to move your family to the heartland of the United States and get paid $7 an hour without benefits to do the job they were trying to do!

Shame on the meat packer owners and shame on our immigration policies and shame on us!

Nadine Batya / August 7, 2009 9:11 PM

I can sympathize with the illegal. But only so far. I care not about the backs story. Everyone has some drama in the background.
On the other side, the illegal alien drags down everyone elses wages. On the margin, the resident meat cutter takes the job of a mechanic that the mechanic has to accept or take the job of a technician at a lower wage. The technician has to take the lower wage or take an instrumentation job at a lower wage,,,ad infinitum.

THe bad guy was the business owner who is TAKING ADVANTAGE of the Guatemalan situation (or Mexican, or Chinese, or Indian) to make more money. Very little difference between that guy and Ozkar Schindler, before his epiphany. Kind of ironic

steve / August 8, 2009 10:22 AM

Why are we entitled to jobs that pay a living wage, enough money to take care of our families, education that helps us improve our circumstances? Just this: We were born by chance in a developed nation.

I may just be a bleeding-heart liberal, but I wonder why we feel justified in closing the door to keep others from what we have. All of our ancestors, even those of us who are Native American, came from somewhere else originally. Why do we want to slam the door once we have ours?

The reason the meat-packing co. needed foreign workers is that no one in Postville wanted to do such a labor-intensive job for so little pay. If people are willing to come from Guatemala to do it (and by the way, they pay U.S. taxes), then let's figure out a way to allow this to be done legally. And everyone would benefit if these foreign workers could travel home sometimes and then return to the U.S. to continue their jobs -- let's not make them criminals. I would go to the ends of the earth to take care of my parents and children, too, if I couldn't do it in my own country. There but by the grace of God....

LOS / August 8, 2009 4:29 PM

The sad part about the illegal immigration in US is the status quo of the political system. No body in public office can do anything to help the 12 million people under the shadows without risking their jobs. Getting an immigration reform will be almost impossible if we as American Citizens don't understand what the real problem is. The idea of less regulation and less government leaves holes for corporations to take advantage of the immigrants. This has happened for at least the last 2 decades. This condition has brought prosperity to most parts of the country. When there is growth there is prosperity. What other country has grown economically as strong as the US. There is no doubt that only the interests of Wall Street rule when deciding about immigration reform or health care reform or any other reform for that matter.
US has had the infrastructure since 20 years ago to check immigration status of every worker, student or citizen. If all the myths were truth that illegal immigrants cost the country billions of dollars every year, bring diseases, crime, etc.(Check LouDobbs.com) at least 15 years ago, that infrastructure would've been implemented. Make no mistake, the US Corporations are not stupid, they just act as if they are when it is on their best interest.

Mario F. / August 8, 2009 7:34 PM

Sorry, but the "don't have money/don't have kids" stuff is simplistic and moronic. This isn't what happens in poorer countries and the Third World in general. Some constructive criticism would be welcome. This kind of statement might be welcomed at RushLimbaugh.com, but it isn't here.
Rob / August 5, 2009 5:30 PM

Arent you glad that your ancestors didnt follow your advice :)

Jim / August 8, 2009 10:26 PM

I have a better idea... do not exploit animals, do not exploit Nature, do not exploit human beings... GO VEG!!!!

Miguel Facal / August 9, 2009 8:59 AM

Anyone who wishes to eject this people from the country out of hand should remember these words...

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

At one time all of our ancestors were immigrants here in North America. The US brags to the world about how great it is, teases the poor and desperate with opportunity, and then denies them even a taste of the freedoms that they wave in everyones faces.

Dave / August 9, 2009 12:52 PM

As an african immigrant, and I was a legal resident in America, now an American citizen, I feel very sorry for those people who got through all this terrible journey of life.

These people they didn't have any choice, they had to feed their families, in doing so they had to search around, wonder around and found the richest country which is close to their countries, and they found America (USA), so they had to cross the border in order to get a job make money and feed their families. Ofcourse, crossing the border illigally is dead wrong, but they dont have any choice, they had to do what they got to do to feed thier families. I think some kind of immigration reform must be done in order to fix or atleast minimize illigal immigration.

Josi / August 11, 2009 6:19 PM

Too bad Walmart that made 312 Billion can try and help these people by making something there instead of China getting all the business.

Dave / August 11, 2009 11:47 PM

Craig, it must be nice living in that simple old head of yours! Say something, all of the sudden, problem solved! You should become Sarah Palin! You are just that good!

Population control is needed, but you are trying to deny poor people the right to procreate, That was an ignorant comment! Try coming up with a solution next time!

Tim riepe / August 12, 2009 2:48 AM

The Guatamelans and Mexicans shown in the video look well-fed but grief-stricken. To make them happier Obama administration should give each one of them 100K, free housing in Malibu, full scholarship at Harward and free medical care for life.

rize / August 12, 2009 12:05 PM

Illegal immigration is indeed not only a social problem but a political problem. We are not the only nation in the world who has difficulties dealing with large numbers of people illegally immigrating past their borders for a BETTER opportunity. I don't understand how people don't realize that it is us who is the cause of this phenomena. We, as American citizens and consumers, demand low-cost qualitiy items. If we don't get that from one business, we'll seek out another who will satisfy our wants and needs. Believe it or not, we have basically forced these companies to hire these illegal immigrant workers to produce a good or service at a lower cost so we will be happy. Because these companies are able to save money on domestic labor we are able to save on their product or service they produce or provide. Same goes for outsourcing.

If everyone would truly educate themselves with non-biased resources, I think we could collectively come up with a solution. Unfortunately, misinformation, predjudice, and bias will always prohibit us to ever become a cohesive decision-making society.

Kristin / August 12, 2009 2:18 PM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the United States overthrow the democratically elected government in Guatemala and send that country into 40 years of civil war? And now the U.S. denies any responsibility for the ensuing chaos, unrest and poverty?

Gary / August 13, 2009 10:45 AM

What really gets me is the word, "ILLEGAL". That means that these people from other countries are, "NOT LEGAL". If I break the law I have to pay. These illegal immigrants are breaking US law and yet you people are screaming out for them. If I break the law and go to prison, who will take care of MY family? Giving my tax dollars to illegal workers and those who DON'T work is wrong. I pay my taxes to take care of LEGAL AMERICANS. If your country sucks, MOVE! Please do it legally though. Illegal workers are no different than the Mafia. They go outside the law to make money. I have NO problem with immigration as long as it's legal. That's all I ask.

Joseph / August 13, 2009 7:10 PM

They always talk bad about illegals, and the economy !! And everyone always points at Mexicans or Latin Americans in general! No one ever talks about Asians , or other races! As if we are the only one coming here!
And why do they come here? Supply and demand!
What man,woman,kid anyone for that matter, work for $7 hr? Not many! If any at all!
Just drive around and go to your fast food joints and look at who works in the back!
How many whites, blacks, asians work in the fields today? Or do the crappiest work around?
We illegals do it all! Go to Las Vegas and the bed you sleep on, was probably made and room cleaned by an illegal! I have worked there like I have in the fields!

Julio / August 15, 2009 2:47 PM

The anti-immigrant sentiments that are in evidence here and all over this country are not only heartless, they're just stupid, from a purely utilitarian economic standpoint. Do you think the market is a zero-sum game? Do you think the money earned, goods produced, prices lowered by immigrants just goes into a black hole somewhere, that immigrants somehow exist outside of the rest of the economy? Do you think that it's a good use of your money- your money, expropriated by the IRS, backed up by men with guns- to round up non-violent men and women whose only "crime" is trying to take part in a "free" market and make money for their families? Do you think it's economically productive to ban workers from working, to fine companies for hiring people, to use law enforcement to terrorize people who have committed no crime against anyone? Do you think it's evil that immigrant workers can mean lower prices for food and other goods, allowing everyone in this country to eat and drink and live well?

Sure there are strong moral reasons for thinking that arresting men and women for the crime of getting a (otherwise entirely legal) job is terribly wrong, but supposing you're entirely heartless and godless, unless you're filthy rich and don't care about the health of the entire economy, you have an interest in a genuinely free market that is open to people who want to work, who want to be productive. Those workers did far more in their time here for this land and all its peoples than the agents of the parasitical State that arrested them, the State that lives off of other's labour. These immigrants are not asking for handouts, they are not asking for special favours, they are merely asking for a chance to labour and be a part of the market, for themselves, their families, and, consciously or not, everyone who enjoys the fruits of a free market.

Jonathan / August 15, 2009 5:17 PM

Obviously the Guatemalans prefer to work in the U.S. for $7 hour and I assume that the Jewish company employed these immigrants because they were able and willing to work hard.

But were they taking American jobs? I doubt many 18 year old HS graduates are waiting in line to fill such menial and dreadful jobs. Yet these illegal immirgrants fill a labor gap (menial labor to be precise) in American commerce, and as in the case of the this company- enable American companies to be more competitive.

Am I the only one who see's an economic opportunity not only for Americans... but potential hard working immigrants (who may aspire to become citizens)? Allow U.S. companies to hire foreign nationals = less outsourcing of companies and industries = more jobs for Americans (the ones we want). There will have to be limits to such a provision, such as allowing only to menial labor industries to hire outsiders. They could even lower the minimum wage for these foreign workers (let us not forget, they arent Americans yet).

But that would require a progressive and intelligent immigration policy. What we have now is a broken policy. Its always better for bad policy to be improved before it is heavily enforced.



Michael / August 15, 2009 7:27 PM

Give me a break..I hire immigrants sometimes to do construction jobs for a few days and the will not work for less than $10 bucks per hour.not $7.50

JPH / August 16, 2009 1:14 PM

Illegal means not legal. Give it to the liberals (a la Ted Kennedy) in this nation to argue against immigration law as a form of moral relativism. How many of the elite liberals who have commented here would let someone just walk in their homes and stake a claim to their living room and a bedroom? I'm willing to venture that NONE of you who exposit on the benefits of illegals working in the U.S. would do so and yet in a larger sense that is just what has been happening. Yeah, it would be nice if we could host them all, but between the burdens on the welfare system, the healthcare system and the educational system, we cannot afford it.

And Michael, if kids who dropped out of HS or just barely graduated HS were not handed every form of welfare as well, they WOULD do those jobs or starve! We've gotten so soft that we don't demand that citizens contribute, we just give and give while some take and take, content to suck off the amble bossom that liberalism offers. I say enough is enough. Fix the borders, deport illegals, cut welfare and get America back on track already.

Genvieve / August 17, 2009 10:55 PM

The truth of the matter is that: These people are uneducated, and without leaders who give a damn about them. And for the life of me, I cannot understand why Latin American people seem so stupid not to overthrow the government that keeps them living in filth. Once these people come here and live for free off the tax-payer's; they never want to go back and reconcile the life that drove them here... Now that White people themselves and their children are being pinched by the illegals,they are now having to taste what The Black people have been dealing with since the Regan years... In essence, this country is reaping what it has sown...

Let Rome Burn / August 19, 2009 12:18 PM

Hey Americans, don't forget our economic systems in Latin America (I am Mexican) are also responsible for the Illegal immigration phenomenon in the USA. Those systems are not doing any effort to stop the bleeding of our nations. And when I say " the bleeding" is because we are losing our most valuable asset, our human resources.

Bernardo / August 19, 2009 1:40 PM

Craig Eliot - That's not how it works bud... welcome to Earth.

Mike / August 19, 2009 2:59 PM

I spoke once with an illegal Guatemalan worker. He told me that it took him three months of work in Guatemala to make what he makes in one day working in the US. That's about a 100x pay differential. I realized that if I could make 100x more working in Canada than in the US I would leave, regardless of whether it's illegal or the hardships involved. With such a strong economic motivation, it is hard to believe that fences, laws, and raids will put a stop to illegal immigration. What will stop it is better economic opportunities in the home countries.

Vic / August 20, 2009 12:50 PM

these people live better than me.
I saw the fancy cars and nice homes in the video.
It is a great country that imports workers to
under cut americans by 60% and ruins its citizens welfare.
Speaking of welfare how many of these illegals
were collecting my tax dollars. OH yes! it is the land of milk and honey for them.
I also wonder why the money sent home was not used to improve the lives of their families.
if one days work is worth 2 months of pay in their country why was it apperently squandered?
guess Frontline sees the world through a propaganda agenda
oh well let them break the middle class who cares except honest American workers!


earn / August 22, 2009 6:10 PM

Wouldn't it be great if these struggling people could find work at a meat-packing plant or some other industry in their own region? They would be able to stay with their families and make a living without becoming undesirable illegals here in the U.S. The meatpacking company could still sell their products at a profit and make enough money to stay in business.

But wait -- that would involve outsourcing U.S. jobs and allowing those nasty multinational companies to make money off of their poor workers...plus it would probably involve polluting the Guatemalan region or at least changing in ways that some might find undesirable.

Something to think about -- unfortunately Guatemala doesn't have the infrastructure to make this possible, but just supposing

JD / August 23, 2009 8:54 AM

we just need legal way for imigrants to work here, on a pass were they have to return after certain seasons,were there not exploited here and thereand when they dont return,they can loose working permits....any imigrant caught bringing guns or belong to a gang,the whole family can loose woking permits or face deportation with out permission to return,at least they will be paying taxes and the owners of co. will also be responcable

Anonymous / August 25, 2009 9:34 AM

This story does tugs at my heart, but the Government did the right thing by closing down a plant which flagrantly violated US labor and OSHA safety laws. Immigrants often had fictious deductions on their payroll checks, were paid less than the legal minimum wage and worked in conditions which many were seriously hurt with no recourse on the company or workers comp.

This Company had testifies in court 2 years earlier that the workers had no right to unionize because most of them were illegal. The Government absolutely did the right thing buy shutting this plant down to stop its abuses on an unprotected class of people.

Marc O. / August 26, 2009 7:16 PM

I want to know why I should care about the woman with cancer???? I have a tumor in my brain, I live in Chicago,and can't get my own healthcare!!!!! I go to the local clinic it basically looks like 3 world country. Has anyone even thought what the history is of South America was before Spaniards promised Christ to them? Why doesn't the Christ or their Sun god give them a job!

Gy / August 27, 2009 7:04 PM

Some of these comments are really too much, I am a big PBS fan, i believe we need more television in the public interest, but a lot of these comments make me plain sad.

Duran / September 5, 2009 1:15 AM

There was a time not so long ago when most of these jobs were strong union jobs. The atmosphere of anti-union prevailed due to the presidential approval starting with Reagan and has continued without the public being aware of much of this. About a decade or so ago buses were picking up folks near the southern border and driving them north to fill these jobs. The local communities were stuck with the medical, school and feeding problems that went along with all of this while the companies pretented they had nothing to do with this. The journalist Eric Schlosser wrote a wonderful piece regarding this subject back in 2001 'Back to The Jungle: A view from the Twenty-first Century. If you want factual info check it out.

Jim Groom / September 7, 2009 2:34 AM

I HAVE AN IDEA!!! Every person against migration and everyone supporting migration need to work together to this idea works. Let have a WEEK all over the country whit no Latino migrants allowed to work. So supporters of migrants groups, convince them to take a WEEK OFF. People against migration do not let them to work anywhere!!!!. Latinos you also need to remain at home and do NOTHING. I believe that after a week, there is going to be a political solution to this problem because 2 probable outcomes. Business will be able to keep function paying very low wages in every service industry (probing migrants are no needed here) or business are going to have many problems trying to hire american citizens to do the same job (probing the contrary). Let's plan for the next MAY first 2010.

C. Pino / December 3, 2009 1:05 PM

I am very disappointed inn Frontline for this very unbalanced report! Very basic questions were not answered and the report seemed to say it was alright to exploit people even if it means letting the exploiters go unpunished. What appears to be a human rights issue in reality is a human abuse issue.
The US has the most liberal immigration policy ( we often confuse an immigraTION policy with an immigrANT policy) in the world. However, we cannot provide jobs for the world's poor (remember 6.5 and counting BILLION) and trying to do so will, in the end, harm everyone. The report was extremely one-sided and will only make matters worse. I expect more from PBS and because of your failure on this any extra money I was to donate to PBS will go to NumbersUSA. Thankfully Bonnie Erbe has produced a better report in her To The Contrary report.

Jack Pedigo / May 12, 2010 12:24 PM

Dave. You do have a good point there. If we. illegal people become residents. we would pay tax. another thing is that. What's happening here and word wide, is a demostration of nature. Survive. And it wont stop. If governments don't start acting like they should. The us.has biggest problems. Like society. The us. Is responsible for drug problem in Mexico.Guatemala etc. This country demands such amount of it. All the killing in those country. As mine(Guatemala ). Are musty because of drugs.

manny / August 24, 2010 2:15 PM

Thank you Frontline, this report on these Guatemalan workes has been taken way out of proportion,starting with our laws and order, or social issues. My comment is that Frontline gives us reports like this to reflect on them, not to point fingers which is the easy thing to do.I could criticize half of the comments some good and others not even deserving to be mentioned.
Some are so ignorant that they are totaly out of line and they have no place in this site. to see a human tragedy such as the one from the man with a wife and 4 kids I can't begin to imagine what I would do in such situation, the only thing I can do as a man with a family is to congratulate this man for having the BALLS ( I thing is appropiate) to leave everything behind. Good luck!

frank / October 4, 2010 10:11 PM

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