Coming to Showtime tonight, Friday, November 22:
READY FOR WAR
Camden, Chicago, AFI Fest
A profile of immigrants facing deportation despite having served in the US military.
Since the beginning of the republic, service in the US armed forces has provided a path towards citizenship for immigrants. In more recent years, however, rules have changed, and veterans have found themselves imprisoned and deported for committing non-violent offenses. Director Andrew Renzi focuses on three such men, providing a unique take on the immigration debate. Further complicating the situation, Renzi has uncovered the disturbing news that US vets deported to Mexico have been systematically targeted for coercive recruitment by drug cartels in order to exploit their military training. This is demonstrated by the experience of one of the subjects, identified here only as El Vet. While each subject admittedly has committed a crime, the question remains as to whether their punishment adequately takes into account the service they have provided to America, or if they are being scapegoated because of xenophobia and political opportunism. While there is support growing for their plight, and in some cases cause for hope, their situation remains dire on the whole, making Rezi’s film a useful tool to help draw attention to and humanize the larger polarizing debate around immigration.