Tuesday, September 25, 2018

At the Movies: Letters from Our Elders



Look out for this documentary featuring immigrant stories from the Haitian community in Tijuana as well as San Diego Border Dreamers, which is coming next week to the San Diego Central Library. The film's website describes the movie as "A film that shares stories about immigrants spanning generations and cultures in modern society." 

The independent film, “Letters from Our Elders,” by the Buenpaso Collective, seeks to connect the story of the director’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, with stories of today’s immigrants.  The documentary follows two Haitians who came to Tijuana and eventually into the U.S. and three members of San Diego Border Dreamers, a group of young unauthorized immigrants affected by the Trump administration’s changes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.



September 25, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Latino Ex-Employee Files Discrimination Claim Against Federation for American Immigration Reform


Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Scott Bixby at the Daily Beast reports on a claim of discrimination by an employee of a well-known immigration restriction group:

"When Joe Gomez joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) as its sole Latino employee, he told friends that the anti-immigration organization’s reputation as a hate group was unfounded. But after enduring months of racist slurs, mockery of his medical condition and racialized abuse from FAIR’s top management and executives, Gomez said, he filed a complaint with Washington D.C.’s Office of Human Rights. A copy of the complaint was provided to The Daily Beast."

Gomez no longer works for FAIR. He reportedly plans to donate the lion’s share of any financial settlement reached with FAIR to a charity supporting migrants. “After working at FAIR, I think I owe it to them,” Gomez said.





August 28, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 26, 2018

When The U.S. Government Tried To Replace Migrant Farmworkers With High Schoolers


Farmers often proclaim that immigrant workers for field work that no U.S. citizens will do.  Gustavo Arellano on NPR reminds us of an effort by the U.S. government to prove that this claim was wrong. 

In 1965, Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz wanted to recruit 20,000 high schoolers to replace the hundreds of thousands of Mexican agricultural workers who had worked in the United States through the "Bracero Program," a guest worker program in place from WWII to 1964.  The program ended in 1964   "But farmers complained — in words that echo today's headlines — that Mexican laborers did the jobs that Americans didn't want to do, and that the end of the Bracero Program meant that crops would rot in the fields."

Secretary of Labor Wirtz cited the farm labor shortage and a lack of summer jobs for high schoolers as the reason for a new program of employing male high school students in the fields.  Specifically, Wirtz wanted high school athletes.  the new program was  called A-TEAM — Athletes in Temporary Employment as Agricultural Manpower.

Read the story about how the program fizzled.  As Gustavo Arellano writes,  the "experiment quickly disappeared into the proverbial dustbin of history. In fact, when Stony Brook University history professor Lori A. Flores did research for what became her award-winning 2016 book, Grounds for Dreaming: Mexican Americans, Mexican Immigrants, and the California Farmworker Movement, she discovered the controversy for the first time. Until then, the only time she had heard of any A-TEAM, she now says with a laugh,`was the TV show.'"

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August 26, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Watch: Logic’s emotional VMAs performance protesting family separation


From Vox

In a performance of his song “One Day” at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, rapper Logic and Ryan Tedder took the stage alongside hundreds of immigrant children and their parents.

The performance echoed the song’s recently released music video, which also addresses the ongoing immigration and family separation crisis. As hundreds of kids filed onstage to stand behind Logic as he rapped, “We do it for the children,” the emotion of the moment struck home — especially when it was revealed that the shirts the children wore were emblazoned with the words “We Are All Human Beings.”

Here is the music video:



August 21, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 16, 2018

At the Movies: Crazy Rich Asians

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The film "Crazy Rich Asians" is getting tons of popular attention.  The plotline summarized on IMDB:  This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family.



August 16, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Affair: Catalina Sandino Moreno Breaks Down Season 4’s Timely Immigration Plot



Garin Pirnin in Vanity Fair talks with actress Catalina Sandino Moreno who stars in the cable series The Affair, which in its fourth season introduced the fact that character played by Moreno is undocumented.  In the second episode of the fourth season, Luisa (played by Oscar nominee Moreno) gets pulled over for a busted taillight while driving her husband Cole’s (Joshua Jackson) Jeep. As Pirnin writes, "Lucky for her, the cop gets called away, and Luisa’s off the hook—for now. You see, she’s an undocumented immigrant from Ecuador—and even though she’s married to Cole, she’s unable to obtain a green card because she came into the country illegally."

Moreno immigrated from Colombia to the United States in 2005.  She came to the U.S. after starring in 2004’s Maria Full of Grace as a pregnant drug mule; her performance earned her a best-actress Oscar nomination in 2005.


August 16, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 13, 2018

Immigration a Key Issue in Season 6 of Orange is the New Black



Season 6 of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black was released a few weeks ago..  Its finale has an immigration-influenced theme that may be revived in season 7.  In the season finale, one of the main characters, Blanca (played by Laura Gomez) receives early release, but she is turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  And the private detention company PolyCon

Gabriela Garcia on Remelzca explores the immigration theme in the OITNB finale.  Will we see an exploration of immigration themes in Season 7?



August 13, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Laura Ingraham's Inflamatory Immigration Comments

The interwebs are atwitter with commentary about these remarks from Laura Ingraham:

Yes. She actually said that in "some parts of the country, it does seem like the America that we know and love doesn't exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they're changes that none of us ever voted for, and most of us don't like.... Much of this is related to both illegal and, in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love."

CNN called the segment out with this headline: "White anxiety finds a home at Fox."

It's an excellent clip for a class on race and migration. It might even pair well with discussion of Chae Chan Ping and the "vast hordes... crowding in upon us."


August 10, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Team Trump’s Plot to Block Legal Immigrants from Citizenship | The Daily Show


News stories have reported on the Trump administration's consideration of restricting citizenship for immigrants who lawfully had accessed public benefits.  Trevor Noah on The Daily Show comments on the possible restrictions.



August 9, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 6, 2018

At the Movies: 10 Most Interesting Immigration Movies of All-Time


Stuart Anderson for Fortune lists his "10 Most Interesting Immigration Movies of All-Time." Number 1 on the list is:

How Democracy Works Now (2010). “Without question How Democracy Works Now is the best documentary film series on government ever produced. There is nothing even close,” I wrote in an earlier article. The series of 12 films by Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini is based on 1,500 hours of footage – the equivalent of more than 187 8-hour days. It shows immigration battles in and out of Congress and local fights in Iowa and Arizona. Why it’s interesting: As I wrote previously, “Viewers are inside the room as key Senate staffers meet with one another and their Senators to craft legislation. We are there when advocacy groups across the ideological spectrum meet with Senators and Congressional staff. In short, viewers go where they have never gone before.”

There are some other great movies on the list, including The Big Sick and Moscow on the Hudson (with Robin Williams).  A sentimental favorite is Gran Torino with Clint Eastwood, in which retired autoworker (played by Eastwood) befriends a family of Hmong refugees who live next door.


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August 6, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Short Video Features Border Rancher on Drug Smuggling, Wall

This short (2:57) video from the BBC is a great addition to class discussion about the border. It features a border rancher who talks about the ease of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border on his ranch and the evidence he's collected of drug smugglers on his property. That evidence includes surreptitious video (included) as well as detritus in the form of "booties" worn by smugglers to thwart tracking efforts by Border Patrol.

In my own talks with Border Patrol agents, I've heard them discuss how migrants wrap their feet in carpet but this was the first time I'd seen carpet-bottomed booties.

Personally, I'd recommend playing only until 2:04 (stopping after "I was thrilled") which would focus discussion on the border, drug smuggling, and the wall. After 2:04, the featured rancher starts talking about the separation of migrant families at the border.


July 29, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Trevor Noah on the Africanness of French Soccer Team

When France won the world cup, Trevor Noah congratulated Africa. (See Kevin's post about the team here.) The French Ambassador wrote to Trevor to challenge this assertion. Trevor responds to that criticism in the clip below, thinking about what it means to be both African and French. It's a thought-provoking few minutes that might be good for those Critical Race profs out there - or those looking for a new way to tackle discussion of race, assimilation, and identity-hyphenation in their immigration courses.


July 22, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 16, 2018

At the Movies: America First: The Legacy of an Immigration Raid

Univision has released America First: The Legacy of an Immigration Raid – a 42-minute documentary about Postville, a small town in Iowa that “suffered the largest immigration raid at a worksite in U.S. history: 389 immigrants were arrested in the biggest kosher meatpacking plant in the country.”


July 16, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Extraordinary story of the Aquarius in a behind-the-scenes exclusive documentary




On Monday, July 16 at 9 p.m., Euronews will broadcast a documentary based on its reporting on rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Euronews correspondent Anelise Borges spent 10 days on board the Aquarius, a rescue vessel operated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and SOS Méditerranée. Anelise was the only television journalist on board. She filmed around the clock, using only an iPhone, to capture the human story of the men, women and children who risked everything to reach Europe. 


July 16, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Woman protesting immigration policy climbs base of the Statue of Liberty


This image taken from video courtesy of PIX11 News in New York shows police talking to a woman who climbed to the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York on July 4, 2018.  (PIX11 News)

Jennifer Peltz and Jake Pearson for the Associated Press report that a woman protesting U.S. immigration policy climbed the Statue of Liberty's base and forced the monument's evacuation on the Fourth of July hours.  Her arrest occurred  after several other demonstrators had hung a banner on the statue's pedestal and had been arrested.

The climber engaged in a four-hour standoff with police before two officers climbed up to the base and went over to her. With the dramatic scene unfolding on live television, she and the officers edged carefully around the rim of the statue's robes toward a ladder, and she climbed down and was taken into custody. 

A federal official says the woman told police she was protesting the separation of immigrant children from parents who unlawfully cross the U.S.-Mexico border.



July 5, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

New Republican (Pro) Immigration Commercial


Today, the Becoming American Initiative launched its first ad featuring a video of President Ronald Reagan talking about how immigrants have always made America great. The message is especially important for conservatives and all Americans to hear on July 4th as President Trump pushes to limit immigration. The ad is airing today and tomorrow, July 4th, on Fox and Friends and MSNBC's Morning Joe in Washington, D.C. and New York City.

The Becoming American Initiative--directed by Linda Chavez, a former Reagan appointee, -- is dedicated to making the conservative case for legal immigration reform.



July 3, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 25, 2018

George Takei: Donald Trump's immigration rhetoric is 'grotesque'


Here is one for Trekkies everywhere.  On CNN, actor George Takei slammed the Trump administration's practice of separating families at the US-Mexico border, recalling his family's experience in internment camps as a Japanese-American during World War II.  Takei writes about the issue in Foreign Policy magazine.


June 25, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 15, 2018

Jimmy Kimmel Welcomes Immigrants to America


Jimmy Kimmel celebrates Flag Day:  Flag Day was started in 1916 and it is a day for patriotism. We have heard a lot lately about immigrants and immigration, and we seem to have forgotten that this is a nation of immigrants. People who come to this country because they believe they can build a better life. Every week immigrants from all over the world take the oath of citizenship in courthouses, libraries and auditoriums across the country, without much pomp or circumstance. Becoming an American shouldn't feel like a visit to the DMV. It's a big deal and we think it deserves a big deal, so we invited a group of brand new citizens to come to the show for the introduction to this country they deserve.

Kimmel serves as host and executive producer of Emmy-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live," ABC's late-night talk show.

Hat tip to Professor Carter "Cappy" White!


June 15, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Video of Casa Padre Detention Facility

As Kevin noted earlier today, journalists have been given a tour of the Casa Padre detention facility in Brownsville, TX, which houses undocumented children. The government did not allow video or photographs inside the facility but journalists were provided with video. Here is the coverage from CBS with much of that video:


June 14, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Juan Williams: Trump's immigration outrage


Juan Williams, currently of Fox News, on the Hill joins the reactions of outrage to the Trump administration's family separation policy as part of its "zero tolerance" immigration enforcement program.  He concludes:  "Let’s hope love trumps anti-immigrant hate."


June 11, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)