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Demian Bichir delves into immigration debate

  • Article by: ROB MERRILL
  • Associated Press
  • July 10, 2013 - 11:10 AM

NEW YORK — Forgive Mexican actor Demian Bichir for pointing out the obvious metaphor in the title of his new TV series "The Bridge," but someone had to do it.

"We need bridges more than walls, you know what I mean?" said Bichir about the immigration and border security debate that is currently occupying the U.S. Congress.

Bichir stars as Detective Marco Ruiz in the FX drama, opposite Diane Kruger, who plays his counterpart in the U.S.

The pair is forced to work together after a body is found on the bridge connecting Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. By the end of the pilot, they suspect a serial killer. Their partnership, and subplots involving other characters, allows the show's writers to also address immigration and political issues on the border.

The U.S. Congress is debating a proposal that would strengthen security along its southern border, while providing a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million workers living in the U.S. without legal permission.

"They're talking about this possible amnesty, but also they're talking about spending millions of dollars building taller, bigger, stronger walls," said Bichir during an interview in New York earlier this month. "We need to find a way of doing it right because that will not stop anybody from coming over here if they see the possibility of having a better life."

Bichir, nominated for an Oscar in 2012 for playing a gardner living in the U.S. without legal permission in "A Better Life," dislikes the political rhetoric that often accompanies the immigration debate.

"Oh, this tremendous enemy called the immigrants. They're taking our jobs and this and that," he said. "They close many factories and fields in Alabama and not even one single American citizen went over there and claimed those jobs and these immigrants, these undocumented workers, just left and it became almost like a ghost town and there was not a single American claiming those jobs, you know what I mean? So it's all a circle of lies that people need to be careful and aware of."

"The Bridge" premieres July 10 at 10 p.m. Eastern on FX.

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