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)

Monday, May 28, 2018

Frontline Looks at the Gang Crackdown


The Trump administration has declared war on the gang MS-13. Tonight, PBS Frontline looks at "The Gang Crackdown."Some 25 dead bodies have been found on Long Island since 2016, all linked to the violent gang MS-13. Numerous immigrant teens are missing. As law enforcement tries to stop the gang, FRONTLINE goes inside the crackdown — investigating how the slew of gruesome killings led to many immigrant teens being accused of gang affiliation and unlawfully detained.


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

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Law and Order SVU Centers Season Finale on Immigration

The Chinese Exclusion Act: A Special Presentation of American Experience


Examine the origin, history, and impact of the Chinese Exclusion Act in a special presentation of American Experience, coming to PBS on Tuesday, May 29 at 8/7c.


Marina Fang on the Huffington Post offers some background on the Chinese Exclusion Act and its history.  In 1882, Congress voted to ban an entire ethnic group from immigrating to the United States. The Chinese Exclusion Act, iterations of which remained on the books for over 60 years, had a lasting effect on the history of U.S. immigration, as depicted in a new PBS documentary airing Tuesday. Filmmakers Ric Burns (brother of Ken) and Li-Shin Yu trace not only the law’s development and implementation but also its connection to other integral parts of American history unfolding contemporaneously, like segregation in the Jim Crow South, urbanization on the East and West Coasts, and trade abroad. At a screening of the film last week, Burns called the Chinese Exclusion Act a “quintessentially American story” and described it as “the biggest part of American history that people don’t know about,” because you would be hard-pressed to find it mentioned in many history courses.


May 27, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dancing to Connect: Battery Dance Helps Vulnerable Youth

Study after study has shown that arts education nurtures students’ creativity and problem-solving skills, competencies that are critical for success in a 21st Century world, but how does dance and movement heal and transform at-risk youth? New York’s Battery Dance launched its Dancing to Connect programs in 2006.
Since that time, the program has spread to 6 continents, 50 countries, 100 cities, and 1,000 schools. A powerful new documentary (Moving Stories) by Wilderness Films follows six dancers from the dance company from India to Eastern Europe to the Korean Peninsula to the Middle East as they support vulnerable youth helping them to express themselves through movement. The film focuses on the struggles, frustrations, resilience and ultimate transformation of the students and their dance teachers.
Here is an Article with more details.


May 23, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Immigration and the Fashion Industry: Alterations to an Outdated Immigration System


Today, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) are releasing an updated report about the impact of immigration policy on the country’s fashion industry and its role creating American jobs. The report found that the industry, which generates more than $250 billion in annual revenue and employs nearly two million people, relies on the skills of immigrants from around the world.

One year ago the CFDA and released the joint report Designing an Immigration System That Works, which served as a call to action for immigration reform and featured details on the way in which the system impacts the American fashion industry To anniversary the inaugural study, we partnered with to  update the study.

The 2018 edition, Alterations to an Outdated Immigration System, with support from the Nashville Fashion Alliance (NFA) and Saint Louis Fashion Fund (SLFF), sheds light on the regional ecosystems impacted by the current restrictive immigration policy across cities including Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, St. Louis, and San Diego. Business owners, designers, students, academic institutions, and more across the country echo similar challenges and obstacles they face in keeping skilled labor working in the U.S .while being mindful of the time and costs needed to accomplish this. The two most crucial takeaways highlighted continue to be:

  • Recruitment and retention of top talent
  • Making the process to obtain or maintain legal access to work in the U.S. more efficient and affordable, and less cumbersome and costly.

The fashion industry widely supports improvements to the existing immigration policies to allow aspiring Americans to continue to nourish the American economy and communities. Ways forward gleaned from the research underscore the need for providing a pathway for Dreamers, improving access to top foreign talent, and expanding education and resources on navigating our complicated system.

CFDA President & CEO Steven Kolb noted, “International talent has played a critical role in defining and sustaining the U.S.’ fashion industry, which is a significant economic engine for our country.  We look forward to continuing to advocate for commonsense policies that will grow our industry and enable us to create an even greater number of American jobs.”

Read the complete report here.


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

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Looking to enter the U.S.? First, answer a few questions...

This bit is from Foil Arms and Hog, an Irish sketch comedy group.

Nicely played, gentlemen. Nicely played.


May 8, 2018 in Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 27, 2018

At the Movies: Resistance at Tule Lake, Film about Japanese American Incarceration & Defiance, Set for National Broadcast Premiere on WORLD Channel May 6th


Resistance at Tule Lake, Film about Japanese American Incarceration & Defiance, Set for National Broadcast Premiere on WORLD Channel May 6th 

“… a potent piece of history at a time when the United States is once again feeling less than hospitable.” - Mike Hale, The New York Times

Over 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated in ten camps from 1942-1946, a dark chapter of American history that has taken on renewed relevance in the current political climate. Resistance at Tule Lake tells the long-suppressed story of 12,000 who defied the government by refusing to swear unconditional loyalty to the U.S. Though this was an act of protest and family survival, they were branded as “disloyals” by the government and packed into the newly designated Tule Lake Segregation Center. The film, directed by Japanese American filmmaker Konrad Aderer, is having its national broadcast premiere on the WORLD channel as part of May’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programming.

For over seven decades, the story of Tule Lake has remained hidden from the public narrative and school history books, and a taboo subject within the Japanese American community, due to widely shared feelings of shame and family trauma. The dominant narrative of World War II internment has been that the incarcerees behaved as a “model minority,” cooperating without protest and proving their patriotism by enlisting in the Army. Resistance at Tule Lake overturns that myth by telling the story of the overcrowded, highly militarized concentration camp where the U.S. government corralled “troublemakers” who dared to protest their confinement.

Tule Lake Segregation Center, located in northern California, just two miles from the Oregon border, became a virtual pressure cooker where the simmering conflicts between the Caucasian administration and the Japanese American incarcerees exploded into organized resistance and violent suppression. Faced with the uncertainty of the war and the rampant anti-Japanese climate that awaited them outside of camp, more than 5,000 renounced their “worthless” U.S. citizenship. Brought to visceral life with emotionally wrenching interviews, never-before-seen archival images, and stunning color footage taken inside the camp, the story of Tule Lake unravels racially codified standards of “loyalty” and illuminates today’s most urgent discussions of nationality and citizenship.

Resistance at Tule Lake’s national broadcast premiere is on Sunday, May 6 on the WORLD channel at 7pm EST/4pm PST. The feature-length documentary premiered last year at CAAMFest and continues to screen at festivals, schools and community organizations throughout the country, selling out tickets at a majority of their showings. Many audience members have come forward sharing their own long-hidden experiences of wartime incarceration, including family relatives of some of the people referred to in the film. 

The film has also sparked intense reactions on how these stories are relevant today under the current U.S. treatment of immigrant families as well as Muslim communities. College screenings have prompted powerful sharing from out-of-status students. Director Konrad Aderer says, “There has been a real sense of being encouraged to engage more with what’s happening today… The DREAMer movement is how the most vulnerable are putting themselves on the line on principle and for survival, as Tule Lake resisters did then.”

Visit WORLD online to check your local listings, or the Resistance at Tule Lake website  for upcoming feature-length screening schedules, updates and more.

WORLD will celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month every day during the month of May with a special PBS collection of stories that explores the history, traditions and culture of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, in conjunction with a social media campaign for people to share their own stories online using hashtag #MyAPALife.


April 27, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 20, 2018

At the Movies: A Season in France / Une saison en France (2018)



A Season in France Directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun France, 2017, 100 minutes, French

Focusing on the precarious plight of undocumented asylum seekers, Haroun’s soul-searching film portrays the daunting challenges of overcoming a vast immigration system. Abbas (Eriq Ebouaney), professor and loving father of two, lives in the outskirts of Paris after fleeing the civil war raging in the Central African Republic. Widowed when his wife died in their escape, he falls in love with Carole (Sandrine Bonnaire), who sustains him as he battles a war of another kind. After two years of waiting while waiting to find out, the fate of his family’s future is about to be known. Masterfully contrasting the warm intimacy of human relationships with those of an impersonal bureaucracy, Haroun tells an all all-too universal story.

Click here for reviews.


April 20, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 13, 2018

DACA Features Prominently in Grey's Anatomy Episode


Immigration continues to pop up in pop culture.  On the television show Grey's Anatomy "Beautiful Dreamer" (Season 14 Episode 19), ICE is looking for a DACA recipient at the hospital. Here is the summary:

An agent from ICE shows up at Grey Sloan in search of an employee who may be working in the U.S. under DACA. Alex’s patient Kimmie wants to leave the hospital to enjoy her final days, but Alex feels differently. Meanwhile, Arizona treats Matthew Taylor’s baby and April wants to do whatever she can to help, on “Grey’s Anatomy,” Thursday, April 12th on ABC, streaming and on demand.

For a recap of the episode, click here.

Thanks to Immigration Professor Rose Villazor for the tip!


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

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Teaching Asylum: Well-Founded Fear

As I've mentioned before, I like to use the documentary Well-Founded Fear when teaching asylum. I play a series of clips from the film, give students a copy of the USCIS Fraud Referral Sheet, and ask them to evaluate the merits of the applicants, taking into account the factors stated in the sheet. We discuss how their impressions of these migrants changed over time, what changed, and why. We talk about the role of lawyers in preparing clients and cases for the USCIS.

I'm thrilled to report that the entire documentary is now available online:


April 11, 2018 in Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Game of Life: DACA Edition - Saturday Night LIve

Monday, April 2, 2018

At the Movies: Immigrant Stories: Doctors and Nurses • BRAVE NEW FILMS


In the new short documentary, Immigrant Stories: Doctors and NursesBrave New Films expose how inhumane immigration policies are forcing people to choose between medical care or deportation.

Doctors and nurses report on the heightened levels of anxiety and stress their undocumented immigrant patients are experiencing, resulting in health complications, missed appointments at clinics and hospitals, failure to pick up life-saving medications, and even patients yanking out their ventilation tubes and fleeing the ICU out of fear of deportation.

The video ends urging Congress to pass Protecting Sensitive Locations Act (H.R.1815/S.845) would strengthen and codify the current guidelines, expand the list of sensitive locations to include courthouses, bus stops, and other organizations that serve vulnerable populations, and would prohibit enforcement activity within 1,000 feet of any sensitive location.



April 2, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)