Missing In Brooks County (2020)

  • Documentary
  • 1h 20m

MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY has closed captions available. Please manually turn on closed captions using the “CC” logo at the bottom of the player screen when you play the title to play captions and subtitles.

Seventy miles north of the Mexican-US border lies Brooks County, Texas. As the national debate over immigration policy simmers to a boil, its practical consequences are felt in Brooks County every day. The site of an estimated 3000 deaths since 2008, migrants choose this route to circumvent the state’s busiest interior immigration checkpoint and find themselves diverted by a military-style barricade that leads them into the surrounding harsh desert terrain. As a result, between 300 and 600 migrants succumb to dehydration and exposure here every year. Only one in five is ever found. Missing in Brooks County follows the journey of two families who come to look for their loved ones, only to find a mystery that deepens at every turn. The film is a potent reminder of the life and death consequences of a broken immigration system.

Ticket Price:

  • General Public: $9
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  • **Note: ** If cost of a ticket would be a barrier for participation, please scroll down for info.

Watch at your own pace anytime between Feb 2-Feb 8, 2021, or join us and watch-along before the live Q&A

February 4, 2021
5:30pm (PST) / 8:30pm (EST) : Press play and begin watching the film.
6:50pm (PST) / 9:50pm (PST): Grab a quick snack and refill your beverage
7pm (PST) / 10pm (EST) : Join us for the live Q&A on Zoom (RSVP required.)

We do not want the cost of entry to these films to be a barrier for participation in these events. If the price of buying a ticket to this film would prevent you from participating, please email the following address (filmticket@hrw.org) + we will send you a free ticket code. We have set aside a set # of tickets per film on a first come first-served basis. Once the free tickets are no longer available, the code will no longer work. For anyone that purchases a ticket, we appreciate your support. Your ticket purchase enables us to make tickets free for those who might otherwise be unable to watch. This also allows the festival to support the filmmakers for sharing their work in our festival to support the arts organizations bringing this work to you and for the festival to cover the cost of hosting the films online.


Lisa Molomot


Jeff Bemiss


Lisa Molomot


Jeff Bemiss


Lisa Molomot


Jeff Bemiss


English/Spanish with English subtitles



Bonus Content

52 mins
Q&A with filmmaker Jeff Bemiss, film subject Michelle Chinos, Vicki Gaubeca + Clara Long

**MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY Q&A at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, **with Filmmaker Jeff Bemiss, Film Subject Michelle Chinos, Vicki Gaubeca, Southern Border Communities Coalition Director at Alliance San Diego, and Clara Long, Associate Director, US Program at Human Rights Watch.

4 mins
Why Trump’s Portrayal of Undocumented Immigrants Couldn’t be More Wrong

On September 4, 2014, a 23-year-old construction worker Alan Gonzalez stopped by a local store and discovered an armed robbery in progress. Children were attending pre-school a few doors down. Rather than turn away, Gonzalez went in and confronted the robbers. One pointed a fully loaded 9 mm handgun at his forehead and told him not to call the police. The gunman and his accomplice then fled, but Gonzalez ran after them. He quickly caught the gunman and put him into a headlock. During the ensuing struggle, Gonzalez was shot twice. After Gonzalez was shot a third time, the gunman was able to run away—but Gonzalez was so determined to stop the suspect that he chased him until eventually collapsing on the sidewalk covered in his own blood.

Miraculously, Gonzalez survived and became a star witness for the prosecution. The prosecutor said had Gonzalez not chased down the robbers, they might never have been caught. Demonizing immigrants as criminals is not only inaccurate, but dangerous. Undocumented residents play an important role in keeping communities safe. Thousands of undocumented immigrants come forward every year and put themselves at great risk to help prosecutors and police stop crimes, making communities safer for everyone. If immigrants believe they will be treated as criminals by law enforcement, cooperation will cease. If we are serious about keeping communities safe, we need to build trust, not walls

4 mins

There are 41 million people living in the US who weren’t born here. Donald Trump thinks you should be scared of them. Artist Molly Crabapple and comedian Samantha Bee tell a different story.


Illustrated by Molly Crabapple Narrated by Samantha Bee

2 mins
Poor Medical Care Linked to Deaths in US Immigration Detention

June 20, 2018

US government records summarizing investigations of the deaths of 15 people in immigration detention support a conclusion that poor medical care contributed to at least eight of the deaths, a group of research and advocacy organizations said in a report.

More people died in fiscal year 2017 in immigration detention than any time since 2009. Human Rights Watch analyzed, with the help of independent medical experts, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) death reviews from late-2015 to mid-2017 and finds evidence in nearly all of them of substandard and dangerous medical care practices including unreasonable delays in accessing care, botched emergency responses and poor-quality practitioner care. One of the 15 cases involved the suicide of a person with psychosocial disabilities who was inappropriately placed in isolation.

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