Wednesday, July 29, 2015
When China passed its One Child Policy to limit population growth, an unexpected surge of abandoned baby girls started flowing into its orphanages. Since 1991, over 80,000 of those girls have been adopted by American families. While many adoption-focused documentaries give voice to adoptive parents, Somewhere Between explores the emotional and cultural impact of adoption from the point of view of four teenage girls, all adopted from China. This award winning film shares their personal journeys as these adoptees convey the experiences of a generation of young people attempting to reconcile their multiple identities while navigating the already perilous waters of American adolescence.
A recent adoptive parent of her own Chinese baby, filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton opens the film expressing her concerns for her daughter. How will she build a strong sense of identity as she grows older? Will she feel like an “outsider” living in a family with two Caucasian parents? How will she supplement the missing pieces of her early life? Goldstein Knowlton seeks these answers by chronicling the experiences over two years of Haley, Jenna, Ann, and Fang, all struggling to find their place in the world. Each girl approaches her Chinese heritage differently, connecting with her birth culture in varying degrees. And each grapple in different ways with the the discrimination and racism they face, as their identity challenges typical ideas about race and culture for themselves and their communities.
Shedding stereotypes and a one-size-fits-all identity, Somewhere Between poignantly conveys the vulnerability, confusion, and courage of these girls as they wonder, “Who am I?” As Somewhere Between plunges the viewer into their ordinary and sometimes extraordinary experiences, we too, are encouraged to pause and consider who we are —both as individuals and as a nation of immigrants and people from diverse backgrounds.
Saturday, July 18, 2015
The popular 2013 film Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks no doubt got many people thinking about lawlessness on the high seas. If it did pique your interest, be sure to check out Ian Urbina's upcoming series in the New York Times titled The Outlaw Ocean. The first installment in the series is Stowaways and Crimes Aboard a Scofflaw Ship. Here is part of the introduction:
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Get More: MTV Shows“White People,” a groundbreaking documentary on race that aims to answer the question, “What does it mean to be white?” from the viewpoint of young white people living in America today. “White People” will premiere on MTV on July 22nd at 8/7c.“White People” follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas as he travels across the country to get this complicated conversation started. The documentary asks what’s fair when it comes to affirmative action, if colorblindness is a good thing, what privilege really means, and what it’s like to become the “white minority” in your neighborhood. That moment that you discover that you have certain unearned advantages just because of the color of your skin can be jarring – and can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt. But once you learn about your privilege, there’s actually a lot you can do that’s empowering and constructive. While white people can’t help having been born white into a system where whiteness affords them privilege, they can help to create meaningful change.
MTV has announced that “White People,” a documentary on race that aims to answer the question, “What does it mean to be white?” from the viewpoint of young white people living in the United States. “White People” will premiere on MTV on July 22nd at 8/7c.
“White People” follows Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas, who has been engaged in immigration activism (including the film Documented, over the last few years) as he travels across the country to get this conversation started. The documentary asks what’s fair when it comes to affirmative action, if colorblindness is a good thing, what privilege really means, and what it’s like to become the “white minority” in your neighborhood. That moment that you discover that you have certain unearned advantages just because of the color of your skin can be jarring – and can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt. But once you learn about your privilege, there’s actually a lot you can do that’s empowering and constructive. While white people can’t help having been born white into a system where whiteness affords them privilege, they can help to create meaningful change.
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Donald Trump kicked off his Republican presidential bid by attacking Mexican immigrants. Despite harsh criticism that has had many large companies distancing themselves from his business empire, is not backing away from those controversial positions.
CNN reports that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said yesterday that the seemingly random killing of a young woman in San Francisco was even more proof why voters should support his candidacy. The shooting of Kate Steinle on a city pier, police say, was committed by an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times to Mexico. Law enforcement officials told CNN that the man had been released by the San Francisco sheriff's department despite a request from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for an immigration detainer. The suspect previously had been charged with four relatively minor drug crimes and one for probation violation and illegal reentry. San Francisco policy requires that the Sheriff's Department only place an ICE hold on a detainee if supported by judicial determination of probable cause or with a warrant of arrest. For more details about the case, click here and here.
Friday, July 3, 2015
During the Depression, Jimmy Gralton returns home to Ireland after ten years of exile in America. Seeing the levels of poverty and oppression, the activist in him reawakens and he looks to re-open the dance hall that led to his deportation.
In 1921 Jimmy Gralton’s sin was to build a dance hall on a rural crossroads in an Ireland on the brink of Civil War. The Pearse-Connolly Hall was a place where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream... but above all to dance and have fun. As the hall grew in popularity its socialist and free-spirited reputation brought it to the attention of the church and politicians who forced Jimmy to flee and the hall to close. A decade later, at the height of the Depression, Jimmy returns to Co. Leitrim from the US to look after his mother and vows to live the quiet life. The hall stands abandoned and empty, and despite the pleas of the local youngsters, remains shut. However as Jimmy reintegrates into the community and sees the poverty, and growing cultural oppression, the leader and activist within him is stirred. He makes the decision to reopen the hall in the face of what they may bring.
For more on Jimmy Gralton's deportation from Ireland, click here.
MANDATORY CREDIT: NBC’S “MEET THE PRESS”
Donald Trump has had a tough week, being criticized from many quarters and losing many sponsors. Today, “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd sat down with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) in Marietta, Georgia to talk about his new book and his run for president.
During the interview, Senator Cruz (R-TX) was asked about Donald Trump's controversial comments about undocumented immigrants.
See below for the exchange, and tune in to Sunday’s “Meet the Press” for Chuck’s full interview with Sen. Cruz.
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Cruz: Now when it comes to Trump. I like Donald Trump. He’s bold. He’s brash. And I get that it seems the favorite sport of the Washington media is to encourage some republicans to attack other republicans. I ain’t gonna do it. I’m not interested in Republican on Republican violence.
Chuck: Rhetoric matters. Doesn’t rhetoric matter?
Cruz: I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration. The Washington cartel doesn’t want to address that. The Washington cartel doesn’t believe we need to secure the borders. The Washington cartel supports amnesty, and I think amnesty is wrong. And I salute Donald Trump for focusing on it. He has a colorful way of speaking -- it’s not the way I speak. But I’m not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans. I’m just not gonna do it.
UPDATE (July 5): From NBC Universal:
Presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) left all options on the table on illegal immigration in the United States, telling “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd: “We should secure the border and then have a conversation.”
This morning’s show also featured an interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of "Between the World and Me"; updates from NBC News correspondents Richard Engel, Andrea Mitchell and Kristen Welker; and a political panel discussion with Chris Cillizza ofThe Washington Post; Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post; Carolyn Ryan of The New York Times, and Michael Steele, fmr. Chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Below are highlights, video clips, and a rush transcript of today’s program. Additional show video is available online at www.MeetThePressNBC.com. Join the conversation online with hashtag #MTP.
# # #
Sen. Ted Cruz on Illegal Immigration
You still didn't say what you'd do with the 11 million.
Well, my view is first, we secure the borders and solve the problem of illegal immigration. And then I think we can have a conversation about what to do about the people who remain here. I don't think the American people will accept any solution until we demonstrate step number one, we can secure the border.
So anything's on the table? Potentially deportation or not deportation, but anything's on the table for the 11 million--
I think we should secure the border and then have a conversation at that point.
# # #
Sen. Cruz on Trump: I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I can't help it. Presidential elections are just a lot of fun. As they say, truth is stranger than fiction. Who would have guessed that Donald Trump, Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, and a fully array of characters would declare that they were candidates for the GOP nomination? Now, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, with a personality that is larger than life, has made it official. He is running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
An avowed fan of New Jersey native son Bruce Springsteen, Christie once supported a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants but publicly changed his view a few weeks ago as he readied his presidential run. A International Business Times article observes that
"Christie has spent much of his time in office avoiding the issue of immigration. . . . Initially, Christie backed a pathway to citizenship. But that view has become untenable among many Republicans, who call it amnesty as they make an effort to stamp out any of its supporters in the party. In May, Christie shifted his position, saying he no longer backs that pathway. . . . There are still a lot of blanks for Christie to fill in on the issue of immigration. And, since it will be such a hotly contested issue during primary season, there will be many waiting to hear a more lengthy explanation of his views."'
Monday, June 29, 2015
NBCUniversal has cut its ties with Donald Trump, a recent GOP entrant in the race for the Presidency. NBCUniversal, under pressure from an array of Hispanic and other groups, has announced that it is severing its business ties to Trump. The Miss USA pageant will no longer air on the network. Nor will the Miss Universe pageant. Both pageants were, until now, jointly owned by NBC and Trump.
"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," the company said in a statement on Monday. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."
Friday, June 26, 2015
Univision, the largest Spanish broadcaster in the United States, is protesting Donald Trump's recent negative comments about Mexican immigrants to the U.S. Trump, who made the controversial remarks in announcing his presidential bid, is a part-owner of the Miss USA pageant. Listen to the NPR report here.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Trump for President!?!?? Donald Trump of The Celebrity Apprentice Announces Presidential Bid By Trashing Mexico, Mexicans
Donald Trump, currently starring in The Celebrity Apprentice, is in the news. Trump declared his presidential bid yesterday by accusing Mexico of sending people bringing drugs, criminals and rapists, promising to build a Great Wall on the nation's southern border and vowing to end the president's immigration executive action.
Trump previously questioned whether President Barack Obama was eligible to be President, making him one of the most well-known "birthers."
“Secret Lives of Americans,” is a powerful and emotional new docu-series that gives viewers an up-close and intimate look at individuals’ lives as they expose their innermost secrets to the most important people in their lives. The series sheds light on pressing issues that millions of people face and over the course of the season will touch on issues such as HIV, Food Insecurity, Student Debt and more. Completely self-shot by its subjects, the series gives viewers a firsthand opportunity to see and hear the inner turmoil caused by holding on to deep secrets. The intimacy of the format provides an unfiltered look at the aftermath of exposing these powerful truths to friends, family, significant others, co-workers, teachers and mentors. Each of the 10 featured individuals overcome a unique personal obstacle in revealing their secret, with their on-camera confessions being a first step in helping them each move forward.
Episode Two: Scarly (Premiering June 19)
21-year-old Scarly, is a typical college student. Like many people in southern California, she was born in Mexico and moved to the United States when she was very young. However, Scarly has a secret she didn’t even know until she was a senior in high school – she is undocumented.
Sneak Peek Clip: Scarly was applying to college in the moment she found out she was an undocumented person: “The day that I thought was going to be the happiest day, like going to school and having my dreams, was actually the worst day, because that’s when I found out about myself.” To download this intimate clip from episode two click here.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Spare Parts is an inspirational movie about four undocumented high school students who take on an engineering contest. If, like me, you managed to miss this while it was in theaters - you're in luck. It is now available on DVD. And, bonus, it is being stocked by Redbox.
I watched the movie with my boys this weekend. It is a great family film - one that does a good job of highlighting the day-to-day challenges of being an undocumented teen as well as the challenges facing the family members and educators who try to support them.
Friday, May 15, 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
ImmigrationProf previously posted about "Fresh Off the Boat", the ABC sitcom based on celebrity chef' Eddie Huang's memoir. (Huang has been critical of the depiction of his life in the show.). It is the first network primetime show to feature an Asian-American family in 20 years.
The show is set in 1995 and 11-year-old hip-hop loving Eddie Huang has just moved with his family from Chinatown in Washington D.C. to suburban Orlando. They quickly discover things are very different there. Orlando doesn’t even have a Chinatown—unless you count the Huang house.
In Fresh Off The Boat's season finale, Jessica, the family matriarch, worries over whether or not she and her kids have assimilated too much, a common concern of immigrant parents.. For a further look at the finale on NPR, click here.
Sunday, April 5, 2015
Here is the Freedom Project's latest report. When Kieu was 12, her mother asked her to take a job. But not just any job. Kieu was first examined by a doctor, who issued her a "certificate of virginity." She was then delivered to a hotel, where a man raped her for two days. In 2013, the Freedom Project went to Cambodia with Oscar-winning actress and UNODC Goodwill Ambassador against Human Trafficking, Mira Sorvino. The result was "Every Day in Cambodia: A CNN Freedom Project Documentary," which looked at child sex trafficking in the country.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, known by as Selena, was an American singer. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican American entertainers of the end of the 20th century. She was named the "top Latin artist of the '90s" and "Best selling Latin artist of the decade" by Billboard magazine.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Libya's Migrant Jails is a new three-part documentary from VICE News investigating the horrific, often fatal, journeys that migrants from Africa and the Middle East undertake to travel across the Mediterranean Sea into Europe.
Part One of the documentary features chilling footage filmed by the Libyan coast guard, who must contend with the influx of migrants crossing the Mediterranean sea, and the drowned bodies they leave behind.
Watch Part One of Libya's Migrant Jails on VICE News here.
UPDATE (March 19) : Part Two of Libya's Migrant Jails
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Columbia Law School announced that Amal Clooney is its newest Human Rights Institute lecturer and senior fellow. Clooney represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and was senior adviser to diplomat Kofi Annan. The London-based barrister will teach courses in human rights, as well as working with students at the university’s human rights clinic.
Amal Clooney is married to George Clooney.
Monday, March 9, 2015
March 11, 2015, 6:00pm ET - 8:00pm ET
About This Center for American Progress Event
“Crossing Over” documents the sacrifices and triumphs of three transgender women who fled persecution in Mexico to seek asylum in the United States. Directed by Isabel Castro and produced by Katrina Sorrentino, the film follows Abigail, who choreographs quinceañaras to put herself through community college; Brenda, an HIV activist and community leader; and Francis, who works as a housekeeper to help support herself and her mother back in Mexico as she prepares for her immigration hearing. From violence and discrimination to living with HIV, the film highlights the challenges faced by people living in the shadows and shows that for transgender immigrants living at the intersection of being transgender and being undocumented, their fight for survival isn’t over when they cross the border.
Please join the Center for American Progress' Reel Progress series for a screening of “Crossing Over” and a conversation with the filmmakers and experts about the challenges faced by transgender immigrants.
Isabel Castro, Director, "Crossing Over"
Katrina Sorrentino, Producer, "Crossing Over"
Other panelists to be announced
Sharita Gruberg, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for American Progress