Film and lecture on the perils of illegal immigration to be featured on University of Georgia campus

Film and lecture on the perils of illegal immigration to be featured on University of Georgia campus

Athens, Ga. – A film screening and associated lecture on undocumented migrants from Mexico will be held in February on the University of Georgia campus. Both events are free and open to the public.

Mojados: Through the Night will be shown on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. in room 171 of the UGA Student Learning Center.

The film is a documentary, filmed over the course of 10 days, which follows four men into the world of illegal immigration. It covers a 120 mile cross-desert journey by four young migrants from Michoacan, Mexico.

Leading a discussion on the film will be John Chamblee, a post-doctoral researcher with the Coweeta Long-Term Ecological Research Project and a research associate at the Arizona State Museum. An archaeologist by training, Chamblee’s research focuses on relationships between people and the landscape in many times and places. Since 2003, he has been leading a small team of Humane Borders’ technology sector volunteers to create a comprehensive, computerized database and map system concerning water distribution patterns and migrant deaths.

The following evening, Thursday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. in Student Learning Center room 148, a lecture “Death in the Desert: Border Enforcement, Immigration Policy and Migrant Deaths in Southern Arizona” will be presented by the Rev. Robin Hoover of Humane Borders, Inc. and John Chamblee.

Hoover is pastor of Tucson First Christian Church and the founder and spokesperson for Humane Borders – a non-profit organization that provides water to migrants crossing the desert. A west Texas native, Hoover ministered to migrants in the Rio Grande Valley before moving to Tucson. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from Texas Tech University and wrote his dissertation on migration policy and religious nonprofit groups.

His long-running efforts to minister to undocumented migrants have been recognized by Mexican President Felipe Calderón and the Mexican National Human Rights Commission. In December 2006, Calderón presented him with the Reconocimiento Cum Laude of the Premio Nacional de Derechos Humanos. Hoover is the first American to ever receive a version of this National Human Rights Prize.

They will discuss the relationships between the dangers undocumented migrants face and inconsistencies in U.S. border and immigration policy. Chamblee will use maps of the southern border to argue that the natural landscape, inconsistent law enforcement strategies and illegal activity have contributed to the deaths of thousands of migrants. Hoover will argue that broader trends in immigration policy preclude the possibility of a solution to the migrant death problem through near-term, law enforcement solutions.


The film and lecture are sponsored by the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Institute (LACSI), a unit of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at UGA. LACSI is a university-wide institute that collaborates with faculty and students interested in the Latin American and Caribbean region and Latinos in the United States. LACSI also administers the new undergraduate major in Latin American & Caribbean Studies.