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John Carlos Frey
John Carlos Frey reveals a seldom seen world of migrant life and marginalized communities through his vast work along the U.S. Mexico border. His first hand approach to documenting and reporting about immigrant struggles has gained him national and international notoriety. In his 2007 documentary film, The Invisible Mexicans of Deer Canyon, John Carlos Frey spent over a year documenting and living amongst the Mexican migrants of McGonigle Canyon that live outdoors in third world conditions amongst some of the most expensive real estate in America. In 2009 he traveled along the U.S. Mexico border from Brownsville, TX to San Diego, CA to document the construction of the new border walls for his eye opening film, The 800 Mile Wall. In 2011 Mr. Frey infiltrated, followed and documented the journey of a migrant group from the Altar, MX, across the U.S. Mexico border and walked through the desert of Arizona for days, putting his own life at risk for the documentary Life and Death on the Border seen on Current TV.
Recently Mr. Frey’s investigative work has been featured on the 60 Minutes episode entitled, The All American Canal, which garnered the CBS News program a recent Emmy Award nomination. He has also recently completed a segment for Dan Rather Reports entitled, Angel of the Desert and is currently working with PBS’ news program, Need to Know on a segment about border violence. John Carlos Frey has worked on stories for The Nation Institute and is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post. Articles about his work have been published in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

Mr. Frey’s work has been recognized by Amnesty International, THE ACLU, The Anti Defamation League, Human Rights Watch, National Immigration Forum, National Center for Farmworker Health, The League of United Latin American Citizens, The Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace and Justice as well as the Hispanic Congressional Caucus in Washington, D.C. for his realistic depiction of migrant life in the United States. His other film credits include The Gatkeeper (2003), The Invisible Chapel (2007), One Border One Body (2008) and Missionaries for Migrants (2011).

Entries by John Carlos Frey

State Audit Considered for Escondido

(11) Comments | Posted August 5, 2012 | 8:20 PM

On Wednesday August 8, 2012 the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC) of California will consider whether to direct the State Bureau of Audits to look into Escondido's suspect towing and impound programs. California State Senator Christine Kehoe submitted the request to JLAC after an initial investigation I conducted...

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Latino Community Remains Silent On Anastasio Hernandez Rojas

(64) Comments | Posted May 1, 2012 | 7:27 AM

Last week I sat with Maria Puga as she watched the PBS "Need to Know" episode of an investigation into the brutal beating, tasing and subsequent death of her husband and the father of their 5 children, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas. They had been together for decades when he...

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Escondido Profits From Undocumented Immigrants

(68) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 6:27 PM

On a spring morning in 2010, Leticia dropped two of her children at school, and continued on to run errands with her 4-year-old daughter. Then, she was stopped at a checkpoint. According to retired San Diego police officer, Carlos Ronquillo, who was a witness, Escondido was conducting a DUI checkpoint...

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Flagrant Human Rights Violations on U.S. Soil

(43) Comments | Posted June 30, 2011 | 10:41 AM

When most people think of the U.S.-Mexico border, they rarely think about a zone where U.S. policy and U.S. agents violate human rights on a daily basis. In the border region it is common practice. I know it doesn't sound possible or true, but it is real and happens regularly....

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The U.S.-Mexico Border Is Getting Organized

(87) Comments | Posted March 10, 2011 | 1:00 PM

If you have ever visited a U.S. town or major city along the U.S.-Mexico border you will quickly realize it is a unique part of the country. The region is alive with multiculturalism, globalization and ethnic diversity. I was born in a border town in Mexico, Tijuana, and grew up...

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Latinos for Meg Whitman, No Gracias

(33) Comments | Posted July 26, 2010 | 6:27 PM

As a Latino voter in California I have been intently watching the gubernatorial campaign of Meg Whitman for the past several months. If you live in California you undoubtedly have seen the endless television campaign ads that that are a result of her infinite resources. A few months ago, her...

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Rep. Steve King's Distortions About Border Security

(62) Comments | Posted June 16, 2010 | 11:46 AM

A few days ago The Iowa Independent featured an article about U.S. Congressman Steve King's assertion that a 2,000-mile long border wall between the U.S. and Mexico would have prevented the shooting death of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, a fifteen year old Mexican National who was recently gunned...

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Congressman Duncan Hunter Wants to Deport U.S. Citizens

(25) Comments | Posted April 29, 2010 | 12:27 PM

Congressman Duncan D. Hunter recently addressed a group of constituents at a town-hall style meeting in San Diego County. One of the topics was his favorite, illegal immigration. As you can see by the video clip, he ended his remarks with strong support of Arizona's recent legislation SB1070 and the...

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Georgia: Making a Scapegoat of Immigrants

(34) Comments | Posted April 19, 2010 | 3:15 PM

Georgia state lawmakers are discriminating against immigrants through proposed legislation SB 67 that would restrict driver's license exams to be issued in English only. Currently the state offers the exam in 13 different languages but according to State Senator Jack Murphy, the chief proponent of the legislation, restricting the privilege...

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Bill O'Reilly's Claim of a Mexican Invasion is Stupid

(14) Comments | Posted April 10, 2010 | 12:49 AM

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's recent comments on April 8, 2009 about a Mexican invasion are stupid. I wish there was a more appropriate word I could use to describe O'Reilly's claim that the U.S. is being invaded by Mexico. The dictionary definition of the word invasion, in this context...

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Arizona: A State With Hate

(53) Comments | Posted April 6, 2010 | 6:41 PM

Arizona state legislators are once again positioning themselves to be the most hate-based state in the union. Arizona State Senator Russell K. Pearce (R) is a perfect example of hate mongering and overt racism. I realize that terms like "hate monger" and "racist" are strong accusations but I...

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The Case for Immigration Reform

(35) Comments | Posted March 18, 2010 | 6:06 PM

On March 21, 2010 immigrant rights advocates by the tens of thousands will be in Washington, DC to make their case known to the nation. For me, the need for comprehensive immigration reform is obvious. I was born in Mexico of U.S. citizen parents. My parent's citizenship automatically made me...

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Can a Chili Pepper Secure the Border? Ask DRS Technologies

(9) Comments | Posted February 23, 2010 | 4:42 PM

A recent article from Nathan Hodge on caught my eye. He reported that defense technology contractor, DRS Technologies has developed a system of infrared surveillance cameras for border security between U.S. and Mexico. There are three different camera systems to choose from, named, Chili, Jalapeno,...

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The 800 Mile Wall

(34) Comments | Posted February 4, 2010 | 2:00 PM

A few years ago I grew concerned about the massive escalation of security infrastructure that was being built along the U.S. Mexico border. I was born in Tijuana, Mexico and grew up on the flip side of the border in San Diego, California only a few hundred yards from the...

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Film About Deadly Failed Border Policies Set for Nationwide Tour

(4) Comments | Posted January 20, 2010 | 11:39 AM

Award winning filmmaker, John Carlos Frey's latest documentary film, "The 800 Mile Wall," will begin a nationwide tour in February 2010 to raise awareness about the current human rights crisis caused by U.S. Border policy. The 800 Mile Wall, highlights the construction of border walls along the U.S.-Mexico...

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National Geographic Channel Profits from Humanitarian Crisis

(16) Comments | Posted January 19, 2010 | 3:25 PM

On Jan. 10, 2009, yhe National Geographic Channel premiered its new series entitled, Border Wars to the highest ratings in the history of the channel. That seems like a victory and an important milestone for National Geographic, but, unfortunately, it comes at the expense of the worst humanitarian...

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My Worst Fears Confirmed

(24) Comments | Posted January 9, 2010 | 3:09 PM

On Dec. 27, 2009 Brady McCombs of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson published a sobering article about migrant death in the Sonoran desert. He concluded that, "illegal border crossers face a deadlier trek than ever." The reason migrants are more likely to die than in years past,...

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