Charles Bronson once said of ex-patriot Mexican immigrants: "Mexican aliens, like the immigrants before them, are seeking a better life in the US. They come here, not because they want our jobs, but simply because they want a job. They want to make a living and live, that's all."
This movie's closing epilogue states: "In 1979, more than one million undocumented aliens were apprehended crossing the border into The United States. It is estimated more than twice that number of undocumented aliens successfully enter this country every year."
Second theatrically released movie for director Jerrold Freedman. It was the first for Freedman since Kansas City Bomber (1972), a gap of about eight years. Also the penultimate theatrically released movie for Freedman, Native Son (1986) was the last.
This picture represents one of a handful of films released during the 1980s that had the word Border forming part of the title and examining immigration across the Mexico-USA border, many dealing with issues relating to corruption, profiteering, border protection and illegal immigration. The movies included The Border (1982), Borderline (1980), Border Heat (aka Deadly Stranger (1988)), Border Radio (1987) and Border Cop (1980) (aka The Blood Barrier aka The Border aka The Border, USA).
Publicity for this picture stated that this was the first film to examine the serious problem of illegal immigration into the USA across the southern border with Mexico. But in fact, the Telly Savalas - Eddie Albert movie Border Cop (aka The Border, USA aka The Border aka The Blood Barrier) [See: Border Cop (1980)] was actually the first. Savalas and Bronson both appeared in The Family (1970), Battle of the Bulge (1965), and The Dirty Dozen (1967).
This movie's closing credits state that in 1979 over a million immigrants were captured, refused entry to the USA and expelled. However, over two million escaped detection, weren't caught and were able to assimilate into the North American society undetected.
When Charles Bronson's head Border Patrolman character in this movie decides to hunt down a killer outside of his legal jurisdiction, his character becomes a variation on his famous vigilante screen persona which was first popularized in the movie Death Wish (1974).
The film's closing credits declare: "The producers wish to acknowledge their appreciation to the men and women of the U. S. Border Patrol, Donald M. Cameron, Chief Patrol Agent, Immigration and Naturalization Service, United States Customs Service, The City of San Diego, California."
Co-screenwriter Steve Kline first researched the movie's subject matter as a reporter writing a series of newspaper articles on the difficulties that the U.S. Border Patrol had in managing, stopping, and controlling the numerous illegal immigrant aliens crossing the American southern border of the USA.
The lead central character of Jeb Maynard played by Charles Bronson was based on legendary border patrolman Ab Taylor (aka Albert Taylor) who was a technical consultant to the production. Bronson portrayed a character called "Albert" in his very next cinema movie Death Hunt (1981) where he portrayed Albert Johnson.
The bunkhouse at the heritage McGrath Ranch in Ventura, California, USA was hosted to production filming for around eleven days where the site portrayed the headquarters of Jeb Maynard (Charles Bronson)'s border patrol office in La Mesa.
According to the 3rd October 1979 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety', sets constructed at the CBS Studio Center for this movie included a sensor room set at the Chula Vista headquarters in California and a men's lavatory set for a fight sequence.
The U.S. Marine Corps provided co-operation for a military burial detail for the filming of the funeral scene at the Fort Rosencrans National Cemetery which is located at Point Loma, San Diego in California, USA.
A full day of filming was spent at the San Ysidro Port of Entry at San Ysidro in California, USA. The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service provided co-operation by closing four inspection lanes of traffic so shooting could take place there,
According to the 5th February 1980 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety', Zip Productions company president Vic Martin de Perez sent a letter to the Marble Arch Productions company, advising the company of a title conflict between Borderline (1980) and "The Borderline Connection", the latter being a title previously registered with the WGA (Writers Guild of America) by Zip Productions during early 1978.
This film represents just a handful of movies made starring Charles Bronson that were able to use alliteration rhyming the first letter B of his last name with the first letter B with the picture's title. Such films included Breakout (1975), Breakheart Pass (1975) and Borderline (1980).
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The film's closing post-script states: "Carl Richards - Found guilty of transporting and harboring illegal aliens. Received 2 - 5 years sentence and a $5,000 fine" and "Henry Lydell - Not Guilty, insufficient evidence".