Friday, January 20, 2017

Speaking Truth to Trump on Immigration by Nicholas Kristof


Nicholas Kristof introduces the video as follows: 

"One aspect of Donald Trump that has particularly bothered me has been his denunciations of immigrants. Maybe that’s partly because I’m a son of a refugee, or maybe it just seems unfair to scapegoat people who are powerless and struggling, or maybe it just seems hypocritical. In any case, I prepared this video that tells a special story about Trump and immigration. The best recommendation for it? He’ll hate it!

This is the first of several videos I made with Show of Force as part of their project called Humanity on the Move, addressing forced migration and the global refugee crisis."



January 20, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

At the Movies: 11 Documentaries About Immigrants Everyone Should Watch Right Now

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Contrasting Trump and Obama Inaugeration Posters


Poster by Shepard Fairey / via Amplifier Foundation

President-Elect Trump will be inaugurated on Friday.  PBS reminds us that, eight years ago, a poster designed by Shepard Fairey became the iconic image of the 2008 presidential campaign. The “HOPE” poster, featuring an image of Barack Obama, began with a print run of just 350, and spread after it was distributed on the street, at rallies and online. Now, the graphic artist, muralist, illustrator and activist is back with another street art campaign called “We the People” for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. See above.  Note that the new president’s face won’t be on it.


Shepard has created three portraits for the campaign; two other artists, Colombian American muralist Jessica Sabogal and and Chicano graphic artist Ernesto Yerena, have each made one more. Together, they hope the faces of “We the People” — standing in for traditionally marginalized groups or those specifically targeted during Trump’s presidential campaign — will flood Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day.

Fairey is collaborating with the Amplifier Foundation, a nonprofit that works to amplify grassroots movements and which commissioned the project. After learning that large-sized signs were prohibited at Inauguration, Amplifier came up with a hack to distribute the posters. Their plan: to buy full-page ads in the Washington Post on Jan. 20 that feature the “We the People” images, which can be torn out and carried as placards, or hung and posted around town. The posters will also be distributed at metro stops, from moving vans and other drop spots on Inauguration Day, as well as posted online for free download. A Kickstarter campaign for “We the People” has raised more than $148,000 since it was launched Tuesday night. 


“We the People” posters by Shepard Fairey, Ernesto Yerena and Jessica Sabogal / Amplifier Foundation


January 15, 2017 in Books, Current Affairs, Film & Television, Photos | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

At the Movies: Campito Kids


Sat tuned for "Campito Kids", a short film, is the story of a migrant family as they struggle to overcome cultural barriers and adjust to their ever-shifting lives. It is based on the filmmaker's experiences and years of observations.

Campito Kids by Antonio De Loera-Brust was shot entirely in Yolo County, California in migrant camps.


January 3, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 1, 2017

90 Day Fiancé

Last night, Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper talked about their favorite shows to binge watch on New Years Day, when they're inevitably recovering from their evening amusing us masses with their uniquely wonderful New Year's Eve countdown show on CNN.

Here's Kathy's description of TLC's 90 Day Fiancé:

"So what it is it's where you have 90 days to bring someone from another country... and then you have 90 days to marry them or else they don't get their citizenship. ... It's called a K1 visa. And there's a lot of couples that, I'm going to be honest, you're not even pulling for, at all. Like the whole time you're like go back to your country no matter how horrible it seemed."

Okay, so her law isn't quite right. But it could be interesting. Here's the official promo:

Hm. I think I'll take a hard pass. But maybe it's just the thing for your NYE recovery efforts.


January 1, 2017 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Exodus on "Front Line": First-Person Accounts of Refugees



“Exodus,” a two-hour FRONTLINE special, tells the first-person stories of refugees and migrants fleeing war, persecution and hardship — drawing on footage filmed by the families themselves as they leave their homes on dangerous journeys in search of safety and refuge in Europe. “Exodus” premieres Tues., Dec. 27, 2016 at a special time — 9 p.m. EST/8 p.m. CST.

Meredith Blake for the Los Angeles Times reviews the show.


December 27, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Alan Thicke, ‘Growing Pains’ Dad, Dies


Sad news this morning.  Canadian-born Alan Thicke, the “Growing Pains” star who played one of the quintessential television fathers of the 1980s, died yesterday. He was 69.

As an actor, he was best known for “Growing Pains,” the multi-camera family comedy that aired on ABC from 1985 to 1992. Thicke played Jason Seaver, a psychiatrist and patriarch of a Long Island family. Working out of the family’s home after his wife went back to work as a reporter, Seaver balanced his professional duties with his role caring for the couple’s three children. Thicke starred alongside Joanna Kerns, Kirk Cameron, Tracey Gold, Jeremy Miller, and later a young Leonardo DiCaprio.

Born in Kirkland Lake, Ontario in 1947, Thicke attended the University of Western Ontario after graduating from secondary school.  Thicke came to U.S. television after having risen to prominence as a host and frequent talk-show guest in his native Canada. 


December 14, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Today Only: Broadway Musical Allegiance on Screens Nationwide

Today, the Broadway musical Allegiance (about Japanese interment) will be aired in movie theaters around the country. Tickets are still on sale.

I'm sure your plans for the evening can be postponed. Take a night to enjoy Broadway.


Happy theatering!


December 13, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

CNN on Family Detention feat. Immprof Denise Gilman

The fight over family detention centers  is a short (5:30) CNN report that could be used in class to spark conversation about family detention. It helpfully includes still shots of a family detention center (inside and out), closeups of ankle monitoring devices, and video from a community shelter for refugees.

Immprof Denise Gilman (UT) was interviewed by CNN and appears prominently in the video. In the written version of the report, she offers this excellent quote: "Under US asylum law, the way you seek refugee status is to come to the US... That is provided for in the law. That is not law breaking." In the video, she argues that the current carceral setting is not appropriate for "traumatized women and children."

I've got it flagged for my Spring class!


November 5, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Photos, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Mother Jones: Undercover With a Border Militia


Shane Bauer in Mother Jones goes undercover with a border militia -- and we all should be concerned:

"I crawl out of the back of the pickup with my rifle in hand. "Keep your weapons nice and tight," Captain Pain orders. I am traveling light. Unlike the others, I don't view southern Arizona as a war zone, so I didn't put steel plates in my chest rig. Next to everyone else's commando-style AR-15s, my Ruger Mini-14 with a wood stock is slightly out of place. But everything else is square—I'm wearing a MultiCam uniform, desert tan combat boots, and a radio on my shoulder. I fit in just fine. We are in a Walmart parking lot in Nogales. Captain Pain and a couple of others go into the store to get supplies. In Pain's absence, Showtime is our commanding officer. He is a Marine special­-ops veteran who did three tours in Afghan­istan. He has camo paint on his face and a yeti beard. He gets in the cab to check Facebook on his phone while Destroyer, Jaeger, Spartan, and I stand with our backs to the truck, rifles in hand, keeping watch for anything suspicious. The Mexican border is three miles away."



November 4, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Untangling the Immigration Debate

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Troubled Actress Lindsay Lohan Helps Syrian Refugees

Friday, October 28, 2016

Help a finish a film about a 12-year-old girl facing the arrest of her mom by immigration police!


From the Filmmakers:

We have just finished principal photography on a fiction feature film that aims to humanize some aspects of the immigration debate now raging, especially around the separation of families. "Collisions" is an engaging and entertaining story that is part buddy film, part road movie, and part “reverse coming of age story”. We are raising money for post production - $30,000 gets us to a complete cut of the film!

Why are we making this film?

When I began work on the script, my wife was a third grade teacher, and a child in her class recently had her father taken away and deported. It took weeks of building trust to find out why this girl, previously bright and engaged in class, was suddenly listless and prone to anger or tears at the slightest provocation. I interviewed her as part of my research. Her sadness, but also her bravery, hit me in the gut in a way that no headline or statistic ever could.

Immigration recently became one of the hottest topics with Obama’s executive action to stop the deportation of parents with US citizen children. Unfortunately this action has been blocked by a recent Supreme Court decision. The debate will reach fever pitch when the film is released in 2017, as the newly elected president has to decide whether to revoke the executive action. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of families continue to be forcibly separated every year. This film can be a focal point for those trying to understand the real families affected.


When twelve-year-old Itan, straight-A-smart, comes home from school in San Francisco, she is stunned to find their furniture up-ended, and no trace of her mother Yoana. Child Protective Services dumps Itan and her six-year-old brother Neto with their estranged uncle Evencio, a big rig truck driver. Itan can't stand him. He's arrogant, unreliable, and probably criminal. After a desperate search, Itan locates Yoana in an immigration detention center in Arizona and convinces Evencio to take them there.

They are propelled onto the road in Evencio’s truck, through the maddening labyrinth of immigration detention. Itan fights to free her mother before she is deported. But her mother keeps slipping from her grasp, as she is transferred from prison to prison. Their journey takes them through the deserts of the southern border, to sprawling truck stops, border patrol offices and secret immigration prisons.

In the close quarters of Evencio's truck cab, Itan and Neto begin to bring a better man out of Evencio. But Evencio abandons them just when it seems they have a chance of stopping their mother's deportation. Are they now truly on their own?  Or will Evencio come through and reunite the family?


October 28, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Allegiance Musical on Big Screens Nationwide Dec 13

Back in January, I urged you to go and see the Japanese internment musical Allegiance on Broadway. (Yes, you read that right - A musical. About internment).

Well, now the musical is coming to you. On Tuesday December 13, it will be aired on big screens (aka in movie theaters) around the nation. Tickets are on sale now.

Here's a clip to whet your appetite. It's called Paradise, and it's a satire about the benefits of living in the Heart Mountain internment camp and the gall of being asked to complete questionnaires designed to suss out the residents' true allegiances.


If you watch the clip, you'll hear them mention Tule Lake (around 1:20). It's where they sent detainees who were determined to be national security threats. Do read the Maurice Roberts piece on his work as a post-war Tule Lake adjudicator. It will really frame the musical for you.

Happy theatering!


October 28, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 24, 2016

How the U.S. screens Syrian refugees

Sunday, October 16, 2016

At the Movies: Desierto


From Jonás Cuarón and Alfonso Cuarón, the acclaimed filmmakers of Gravity, comes a unique, modern vision of terror.  Desierto is a visceral, heart-pounding suspense-thriller packed with tension and suspense from start to finish, starring Gael García Bernal (The Motorcycle Diaries and Y Tu Mamá También) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen). What begins as a hopeful journey to seek a better life becomes a harrowing and primal fight for survival when a deranged, rifle-toting vigilante chases a group of unarmed men and women through the treacherous U.S.-Mexican border.  In the harsh, unforgiving desert terrain, the odds are stacked firmly against them as they continuously discover there’s nowhere to hide from the unrelenting, merciless killer.

The film, which is in American theaters now, attempts to humanize immigrants, something that is quite different than what Donald Trump does in his anti-immigration rhetoric.  For a review in TIME, click here.


October 16, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Trump and Colbert Spar (Humorously) on Immigration

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Trump's uncensored lewd comments about women from 2005


Donald Trump is making news again.  Can his campaign recover?  WARNING: This story contains graphic language. Donald Trump bragged about trying to have sex with a married woman and being able to grope women in previously unaired footage from 2005. 

CNN ("Donald Trump to Howard Stern: It's okay to call my daughter a 'piece of ass'" )later reported on sexual banter between radio shock jock Howard Stern, with audio clips, and Trump over a number of years.


October 8, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 7, 2016

Modern Immigration Stories Might Be TV's Next Trend

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Vanity Fair has a story on a possible new television trend -- immigration stories on television. 

Diane Guerrero , who has had supporting roles in Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, will star in an upcoming drama about immigration on CBS. The show is based on Guerrero's memoir, In the Country We Love, which details her immigration experiences. When she was 14, Guerrero's parents were deported to Colombia. Guerrero, who was born in the United States, remained here and was raised by friends and family. Now she is an outspoken advocate for immigration reform

The television show will revolve around a corporate attorney with a similar past who decides to start handling pro-bono cases for undocumented immigrants, Deadline reports.




October 7, 2016 in Books, Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Migration Enforcement in Mexico: New Report Reveals Asylum Requests are at a Record High while Apprehensions and Deportations Continue


In the context of the Leaders’ Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis that the Mexican government is co-hosting, WOLA (the Washington Office on Latin America) is releasing a new joint report that reveals that 2016 is the year with the highest number of asylum requests on record in Mexico. Meanwhile migrant apprehensions and deportations dramatically increased in recent years and continue unabated.

The report finds that, despite the increase in apprehensions, Mexico has failed to strengthen its capacity to adequately screen migrants who might be eligible for protection, raising concerns about migrants’ rights and due process. The report is accompanied by a WOLA video series featuring Central American migrant children who describe why they left their home countries and their experiences being deported from Mexico. As the Mexican government tries to position itself as a global leader on refugee issues, it must first address the serious shortcomings in its attention to Central Americans seeking asylum and migrants victims of crime in the country.

The report, which was produced in collaboration with the Mexican organization Fundar: Centro de Análisis e Investigación and the Migrant Shelter “Frontera con Justicia,” in Saltillo, Coahuila, explores how the implementation in 2014 of Mexico’s “Southern Border program” resulted in a massive increase in migration enforcement along the border with Central America. Mexico’s apprehensions of migrants went from 86,298 in 2013 to 198,141 in 2015, and there have already been 99,768 apprehensions in the first seven months of 2016. At the same time, asylum requests are on the rise, growing from 1,296 in 2013 to 3,424 in 2015. In the first six months of 2016, Mexico has already received 3,486 requests, the highest on record. In 2015 and 2016, over 92 percent of the asylum requests came from Honduran, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran citizens.

Mexico keeps prioritizing deportations over protecting migrants who might be fleeing danger,” said Maureen Meyer, Senior Associate for Mexico and Migrant Rights at WOLA. “These hardline policies have proven ineffective at deterring migration, have violated human rights, and have exposed migrants to abuses, corruption, and violence.



September 20, 2016 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)