Whenever hate crimes occur, we are reminded of the human propensity to find a scapegoat to blame when things are not going our way. The hostile imagination assumes that the stranger poses a threat to us. This outsider is then painted as a barbarian, a dehumanized monster who must be fought and exterminated. The ancient game of good versus evil is set in motion. The face of the enemy is there to provide a target for hatred.
In this film set is the waterfront city of Braxton in upstate New York, a band of discontented citizens have made Hispanic migrant workers into sub-humans who pose a threat to their community. They kidnap and then brutally murder five of these outsiders. Rolando Ramirez (Robert Fontaine), a Mexican American detective, takes over the case and begins a search for those responsible for this heinous hate crime. In his investigation, he comes face-to-face with the virulence of racial enmity and the ways in which its toxins can spread to all levels of society. Children are caught up in their parents' views and when they do become believers, they often suffer for it. In the midst of his investigation, Ramirez takes on the guidance of a kid in trouble with the law who is very smart and a gifted athlete.
Writer and director Robert Fontaine challenges us to empathize with all victims of hate crimes. Mi America helps us to see that the best hope for remaining human, and being there for the generations to come, will require us to convert our disposition toward hostility to a disposition toward empathy and compassion.