HOBART | A burst of laughter came from a crowd of about 100 people Sunday as they watched U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano say the border is “very secure” during an interview included in a documentary.
The documentary, “They Come to America,” was shown at the Hobart Art Theatre.
The Indiana Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement, known as IFIRE, sponsored the event and hoped the film would bring a more broad view of the topic to the local people, co-founder Cheree Calabro said.
“I wanted people to get the bigger picture,” she said. “And I hope this inspired them to do something. I want them to start helping us by speaking up.”
The documentary illustrated filmmaker Dennis Michael Lynch's journey across the nation as he explored issues surrounding illegal immigration.
The film, which was made between November 2010 and October 2011, highlighted interviews Lynch conducted with immigration reform groups, ranchers on the U.S. and Mexico border, illegal immigrants, protesters and law enforcement officials.
It told the story of illegal immigrants as well as citizens who are looking for work. It showed Lynch talking with ranchers in Arizona who work to secure the borders on their property. It even included footage of Lynch running away from apparent danger as he explored the hazardous areas of the border.
After the film, Lynch addressed the crowd and said producing the film made him want to vote when he hadn't been registered to do so before. He also encouraged the group not to cast a stone at one another, but to look at lawmakers to make changes.
“Take the stone and throw it at the politician who is doing absolutely nothing to solve the problem,” he said.
Mark Leyva, a local Tea Party leader, was interested in seeing the film and speaking with Lynch.
Leyva, 53, of Highland, said he wasn't surprised by anything in the film, but said he was impressed with the film and its view on the problems related to the issue.
He also said he was impressed how the film made Lynch more passionate about the topic and inspired him to get involved in politics.
“We need more people to experience that so they can get up and do something about it,” he said.
State Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, has been involved in tackling illegal immigration problems for about five years. He was invited to the screening and was impressed by the film. He said it brought up many of the legitimate problems associated with the topic.
"At the end of the day, this is about one thing — cash." he said. "People make money off of illegal immigration and that's not right."