Thirty Days With Illegal Aliens—And A Fabricated Conversion


July 18, 2006

[Previously by Frank Jorge: LAIR`s Frank Jorge Reports On That Costa Mesa Convulsion]

Recently, I finished working with the Fox Network`s “Thirty Days” producers on an episode in which I lived with illegal aliens for thirty days.

Before I signed my contract, I read it thoroughly and noticed that it actually said that they could defame me and say, or release embarrassing information about me.

I took this to mean that they neither have to be truthful or ethical in the treatment of the person under contract….me.

As a person who has himself produced and edited videos, I know how much damage can be done. Anything taken out of context can appear to represent a point of view completely foreign to the person making the statement.

But I spoke with my wife about whether I should participate or not. And I decided that I should do so for the sake of my country—even though the production might mischaracterize me, defame me or twist facts.

It was, and is, my viewpoint that I would still be part of a documentary in which illegal aliens are shown for close to thirty days living in East Los Angeles, California, without any fear of being deported. The episode could well have been titled, Thirty Days Without Enforcement of Immigration Law. It is an inescapable fact that not only can illegal aliens exist in our country without immigration law being enforced, but that they can demonstrate against American citizens, assault them, belittle them, and now….they can be seen on American Television participating in a documentary.

All of this speaks volumes about our Federal, state and city governments, whose unwillingness to enforce immigration laws goes against the wishes of its legal citizens.

Two producers for the show came to my home to show my wife and myself the finished program. I was told that it still needed a little work but that the network executives liked it and that they had approved it.

I really liked it too—even the parts that made me look bad in a number of ways.

And then came the last five or so minutes.

In these last few minutes, the editing crew had a field day putting together a sequence that, to people as sensitive as myself and my wife over this issue of illegal immigration, appeared to twist things to make it appear that I had changed my mind—and am in fact in favor of the illegal immigrant family of seven staying here; and of allowing more in.

This travesty begins with the eighteen year-old illegal alien girl, Armida, saying “I think he`s changing his mind”. This is followed by another video clip where she asks me: “Are you still going to the borders? I then answer “It would seem strange to do so now.”

You are not allowed to hear the rest of what was said, because they edited it out.

Allow me to explain. I have been active both on our borders and also in our cities. I had not, however, knocked on politicians` doors myself.

My experience living for Thirty Days in East Los Angeles, California did indeed cause a tremendous change in my perceptions of what I should be doing. I decided that I need to work on the politicians personally to persuade them to enforce immigration laws, or enact new ones that will make the four cities near where I live uninhabitable to illegal aliens.

This change was caused by living in a former USA city that is now a Mexican city —to the point where, as I wandered the streets, I asked the illegals if this city reminded them of a Mexican city and they said yes: Guadalajara, Mexico.

Another shocker was a video clip showing me walking down the street saying: “Why not be part of the process of bringing them here legally?”

What you don`t get to hear was my qualification: “If this family of seven goes back to Mexico and applies for legal entry into the USA, I promise to sponsor them…why not be part of the process of bringing them here legally?”

I actually made that offer to them. But if they accepted, they would have had to leave. They refused my offer, since it meant that they would have had to get to the back of the legal immigration line and probably wait years before they could come here.

I told the producers that they had deliberately twisted the story. They said that I had actually said those things. I replied that they had taken them out of context from the 300 hours of video that they had shot.

After going back and forth for the longest time, they refused to make any changes. I asked them to allow me to add an audio file that would bring everything back in balance so that Americans might know that I had not changed my point of view.

I was told that I had no control over the contents…. as if I didn`t know. But I told the producer, Jonathon, that an army of lawyers and the contract that I had signed would not keep me from addressing this issue.

Finally they said they would add in writing, at the end that I was still a Minuteman and that I was working to have our borders secured.

I cannot tell you how much I prayed to have God intervene in this affair. I feel it is important because our people deserve the truth—not for my sake, but rather for the morale of our American people.

Then I was invited to a press conference, held on July twelfth at 1 PM at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Pasadena California.

A limousine was sent to pick my wife and I at our modest home in Mojave, CA.

I sat on a panel with the illegal alien girl, three executives from Fox network and 30 Days` host Morgan Spurlock, whom I met that very day.

When the questions started coming from the reporters, I told them of the deceit that had been put into play. How millions of Americans would be manipulated into believing something that wasn`t true about one of their countrymen. How a fine production at the last moment took a twist so dreadful that its status as a documentary was compromised by its morphing into a movie, without respect for truth at a time when our people deserve the truth more than ever.

All reporters listened intently for the full hour of the conference. The producers showed extreme discomfort. Truth when spoken is powerful.

I was given a DVD with the “rough cut” of the episode, as were the reporters. When I was able to see this DVD, I found it was completely different from what I was shown earlier. This second rendition of the episode is in keeping with the truth. It is graceful and intellectually engaging. It is a masterpiece without peer.

So there are two renditions of the product: one truthful throughout; another, still great and a must see, but in the last few minutes it takes a Hollywood flight from reality.

Why then would the Thirty Days` crew take a quality work and degrade it? Was it because ratings would be better? Why was the host, Morgan Spurlock refers to me on the show as an “anti-immigrant” Minuteman? If you look at the film you will see that even they know that I am an immigrant myself!

Well, this was the Thirty Days` crew:

  • Producer: female, born USA, Colombian parents, speaks Spanish, visits Colombia. Age 40.

 

  • Assistant Producer: female, born USA, Colombian parents, age twenty six. Fluent in Spanish. Definite loyalty to illegals established.

 

  • Co-coordinator: female, age twenty seven, born in Peru, illegal alien who overstayed her visa. Definite loyalty to illegals established.

 

  • Cameraman: male, USA, believes in one world, one people. Definite loyalty to illegals established.

 

  • Soundman: male, born USA, unknown loyalties.

 

  • Assistant Cameraman: Mexican illegal alien. Definite loyalty to illegals established.

During all the days that we filmed, I frequently felt as if I were the only person who believed as I do.

It is not an accident that the film took the turn that it did.

I never failed to mention my anti-illegal immigration point of view everyday. The crew was aware that upon completing the filming I would fly to Crawford, Texas to protest Bush for being soft on illegal aliens. They knew that I was the originator of the event and had paid for everything that we had purchased for it. They had been shown my website for the event.

How could they possibly even dare to think that I had changed my mind?

Not a chance!

Change induced by bonding and isolation is actually common in some of these reality shows. But the problem in my case is that the change that occurred was very subtle—and of a different kind than the crew expected. While I did most definitely bond strongly with the Gonzalez family, I realized that I must work on my local politicians to act on immigration—because time is short for my country.

Failing to get the type of conversion the expected and desired, the 30 Days` crew fabricated one.

If they wanted to know how I felt after the thirty day period all they had to do was ask. They didn`t even have to. I told them time and time again:

Secure the borders with regular military troops, fine and imprison the employers of illegal aliens. Arrest illegal aliens in this country and put them to work building a wall on our border with Mexico. Start desert tent detainment centers like Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona has done. Deport all illegal aliens who do not self deport. Impeach Bush for being the traitor that he is and try him for treason!

As always, immigration patriots are treated poorly by the mainstream media. Rather than run, we must stand and fight until they yield to the truth and stop the propagation of lies.

As for the illegal alien family, I can tell you that I grew to love them for their warmth and sincerity. It makes it that much more meaningful when you love some of these folks–and you still say, in their presence, “our laws must be enforced”.

I did it. I hope many of you can do it too.

The word from those who have worked in Hollywood for years and whom I consulted with on this issue is that reality shows are not reality driven. Everybody in the industry knows it.

I participated in this documentary in order to fight for the truth on behalf of all patriotic citizens, past present and future, who love, and will love, this glorious nation.

And the 30 Days documentary will have an impact on the illegal immigration debate. To that extent, Fox and 30 Days are to be commended.

PS: This must-see documentary will air on July 26th, 10 pm and 11 pm on the Fox channel.

Frank Jorge (email him), an immigrant from Cuba, is a staff member with Latino Americans For Immigration Reform [LAIR]