Sunday, February 5, 2023

'Last Of Us' Star Pedro Pascal Talks of Family Fleeing Pinochet's Chile on SNL


Last of Us” star Pedro Pascal hosted “Saturday Night Live” last night.  Near the tail end of his monologue, "Pascal, born in Chile, slipped into a quick summary of his life that became suddenly emotionally powerful as he spoke about moving to the U.S. when his parents escaped the repressive Pinochet regime with his sister and him when he was just nine months old."

“They were so brave, and without them I wouldn’t be here in this wonderful country,” he said, his voice breaking. “And I certainly wouldn’t be standing with you all here tonight.”

He issued a heartfelt message to them, then translated: “I love you, I miss you — and stop giving out my phone number."




February 5, 2023 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 2, 2023

At the Movies: Guerrilla Habeas


Here is a film that ImmigrationProf blog readers may find of interest.  TIME magazine review the film:  "In the new documentary Guerrilla Habeas, filmmakers Emma Wall and Betsy Hershey advance an urgent argument about immigration courts: they function differently and apart from the American judicial system, often to the detriment of immigrants themselves."  The website for the film states that "GUERRILLA HABEAS tells the story of two intrepid lawyers in their crusade against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the epidemic of deportations tearing individuals from their families and communities."


February 2, 2023 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 16, 2023

Korematsu Day and Japanese American Confinement Education Act of 2022

Korematsu flyer
During the week of MLK Day, I have the additional opportunity to reflect on race while teaching Korematsu v. US in my Constitutional Law class. Karen Korematsu's Korematsu Institute sponsors many educational programs to commemorate the infamous cases authorizing Japanese internment and the coram nobis cases overturning the underlying convictions. Among the programs is an upcoming gala event in San Francisco featuring keynote speaker Neal Katyal and honoring AAPI community leaders on January 28, 2023.
Nationwide, this will be the first year of the Norman Y. Mineta Japanese American Confinement Education Act. The Confinement Education Act will reauthorize funding for the JACS program to continue the preservation of these sites — including the Honouliuli Internment Camp in Hawai‘i. The bill will also create a new $10 million competitive grant program to educate individuals on the historical importance of Japanese American confinement during World War II, "ensuring that present and future generations learn from Japanese American confinement and the commitment of the United States to equal justice under the law." More information about the creation and signing of the bill appears here.

January 16, 2023 in Conferences and Call for Papers, Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 30, 2022

Podcast: USA v. Garcia Luna -- "True Crime Meets Telenovela"

Are you looking for a crime podcast for that long walk with the family dog?  Here is an intriguing one released earlier this month:  

"A story where true crime meets telenovela. Futuro Investigates and Latino USA —in partnership with Lemonada Media— present USA v. García Luna, a new investigative series about the most powerful Mexican official to ever face trial in the U.S. for allegedly accepting million-dollar bribes from the Sinaloan drug cartel."

A more detailed podcast description from the website:

"A Mexican-American journalist and a Cuban-Mexican investigative reporter walk into a recording studio with a bottle of tequila and reveal one of the most shocking true crime investigative stories you will ever hear.

USA v. García Luna tells the story of the most powerful Mexican government official ever to face trial in the United States for his alleged ties to the infamous drug lord Joaquín `El Chapo' Guzmán.

His name is Genaro García Luna. Maybe you’ve never heard about him, but in five episodes, Pulitzer Prize winner Maria Hinojosa and Emmy Award winner Peniley Ramírez will tell you why he matters and how his story connects to the U.S. government, the war on drugs and millions of dollars from U.S. taxpayers.

This is not your regular narco series. It’s the result of a 10-year investigation and a shared journalistic obsession. We tackle corruption in the DEA, question how U.S. money funds the war on drugs and how Washington picks its allies. It gets deep, personal and absurd. It’s really like true crime meets telenovela."

 Here is the teaser for Episode 1 (Untouchable):

"Peniley Ramírez has one obsession: Genaro García Luna, Mexico’s top security official from 2006 to 2012. For years, Peniley broke news of his alleged corruption in Mexico and the U.S. Yet, García Luna seemed untouchable. That is, until his name was brought up by a former cartel leader during Joaquín `El Chapo' Guzmán’s U.S. trial. Now, he faces his own trial. In this episode, Peniley dives into the latest with her new friend Maria Hinojosa. Over a bottle of tequila, they raise questions about what García Luna’s upcoming trial says about the role of the U.S. in the `war on drugs.'”

The Garcia Luna trial is set to begin in January 2023.

I must say that the podcast sounds all to similar to the fictional television drama from a few years back, Queen of the South. Drug sales, violence, romance, and corruption prevail.



December 30, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Death by Policy: Crisis In The Arizona Desert


The ImmigrationProf blog frequently has reported on death on the border resulting from U.S. border enforcement measures.  See, for example, here, here, here.

Latino USA often includes stories that touch on immigration and Latina/o identity.  "In this year-long investigation from Futuro Investigates, [Latino USA] dig[s] into how the U.S. government and Border Patrol’s decades-long “prevention through deterrence” policies have knowingly created a deadly funnel, pushing migrants attempting to cross from Mexico to the U.S. into the deadliest terrain in the country, including the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona."

December 28, 2022 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, December 25, 2022

El Paso Migrants Unable to Shelter Warmed by Local Community

On Christmas eve, Immprof blogger KJ posted that a busload of immigrants were dropped in front of Vice President Harris' DC residence. But for the grace of a local church, they would have been left in freezing temperatures.

A similar story is taking place in El Paso, Texas, where migrants crossing into the borderlands are relying on churches and sanctuary networks to stay sheltered from the cold. With the official shelter at the city's convention center requiring immigration documentation, those who enter without inspection have fewer options and risk being sent back to their home countries if they try. Churches are filling the gap with food, clothes, and toys for migrants without regard to their immigration status. NPR reports:

Many migrants had hoped for what they say would have been the best Christmas gift of all - the lifting of pandemic border restrictions that have blocked them from seeking asylum in the U.S. That has not happened. Still, they're grateful for the kindness of strangers this holiday season.



December 25, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Mexican Immigrant Who Voiced Peanuts’ Snoopy And Woodstock

Here is a truly upbeat immigrant Christmas story.


One often forgotten Latino trailblazer is José Cuauhtémoc “Bill” Meléndez who helped to create the most iconic cartoon special ever.  An immigrant from Mexico, Meléndez gifted us “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”



December 25, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Podcast: Belonging in Unceded Territory

ImmigrationProf Blog readers in the US may be interested in the intersection of migration, settler colonialism and indigeneity. Leading scholars have collaborated on a Global Migration Podcast episode featuring a Vancouver-based research collaboration, Belonging in Unceded Territory. You can access the episode here, where you will also find links to Spotify or other preferred listening platforms.

MHC (h/t Antje Ellermann, Founding Director Centre for Migration Studies)

December 13, 2022 in Data and Research, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 10, 2022

At the Movies: The Swimmers (2022)


It is the holiday season.  Want to see an upbeat film about refugees from Syria?  Hard to imagine?  Well, here is a film that fits the bill.

The Swimmers (2022).  IMDb summarizes the film as follows:  "From war-torn Syria to the 2016 Rio Olympics, two young sisters embark on a harrowing journey as refugees, putting both their hearts and champion swimming skills to heroic use."

Here is a review of the film from The Guardian.

Al Jazeera reports that the two sisters today advocate for refugee rights.



December 10, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 9, 2022

The Human Consequences of Family Separation -- After Zero Tolerance (full documentary) | FRONTLINE


December 9, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (1)

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Inside fake German heiress Anna Sorokin’s immigration battle


The immigration case of Anna Sorokin, whose elaborate fraud captured the world's imagination, continues.  The subject of the Netflix series "Inventing Anna", Sorokin served about four years in prison after found guilty of a variety of criminal charges. Sorokin had claimed to be a German heiress named Anna Delvey who had a $60 million inheritance and was raising funds to launch a Manhattan social club. She swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from friends, banks and New York City luxury hotels to fund a lavish lifestyle.

' ' ' '

Sorokin, who acknowledges that she made `so many bad choices,' has now become one of the most high-profile immigration detainees in recent memory, a famous name in a sea of anonymous petitioners.

Authorities say Sorokin, who went by the name Anna Delvey for years, overstayed her U.S. visa and must return to Germany.

She is fighting that move, arguing that while she may have been able to appeal her case from Germany, `it’s not the same' as doing so from inside the U.S. She was released from prison in October.

The process, she told the Hill in a recent phone interview, has been uncertain and frustrating.

`They don’t have rules for the judges or for the BIA, which is the Board of Immigration Appeals, to make a decision. If you file something, they can take a year or two or three — or like one week — to give you a response. And there are no guidelines. You know, so that’s pretty frustrating, especially when you’re in jail,' Sorokin said.

`There’s no guarantee that you will ever get a response,' she added."


December 4, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 18, 2022

Papers Please: The Musical

Ho did I not know about this beauty? Check out Papers Please: The Musical from Random Encounters.

"You will tear up every visa from a person with a beard."

"Every migrant overweight you must now interrogate."


November 18, 2022 in Film & Television, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Stand Up Routine Guaranteed To Make You Scream Nooooooooo!!!!!

Jimmy O. Yang is an actor, comedian, writer and producer. I guarantee you've seen him before. The only question is whether you are more of a Love Hard or a Space Force kind of Netflix watcher.

A snippet of his standup recently came across my feed. And, let me tell you, I was aghast.

@full.celebs Going To Mexico as an Asian || Part 1 || #foryou #america #jokes #comedу #fyp #foryou #jimmyoyang #funny ♬ original sound - full.celebs

Wow. Just wow. This man is l.u.c.k.y.

Let's take a look at INA § 237(a)(3)(D)(i), 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(3)(D)(i), shall we?

Any alien who falsely represents, or has falsely represented, himself to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under this chapter (including section 1324a of this title) or any Federal or State law is deportable.

And that's why I started, quite literally, screaming "noooooo!!!!!" at my screen.

But, all's well that ends well I suppose. Jimmy is now a naturalized U.S. citizen. (Hence, why he's comfortable telling this joke.) And this clip shall forever live in my arsenal for teaching about false claims to U.S. citizenship.


November 8, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 21, 2022

At the Movies: Fruits of Labor


Fruits of Labor is a feature documentary film about an American high school student traversing the seen and unseen forces that keep her family trapped in a cycle of poverty.  Fruits of Labor is an award-winning and nationally-televised film, which was filmed in Watsonville and follows Ashley, a Mexican-American teenager, who dreams of graduating high school and going to college. But when ICE raids threaten her family, Ashley is forced to become the breadwinner, working days in the strawberry fields and nights at a food processing company.


A Mexican-American teenager dreams of graduating high school, when increased ICE raids in her community threaten to separate her family and force her to become the breadwinner for her family. She works long days in the strawberry fields and the night shift at a food processing factory. Set in an agricultural town on the central coast of California, FRUITS OF LABOR is a coming of age story about an American teenager traversing the seen and unseen forces that keep her family trapped in poverty.  A lyrical meditation on adolescence, nature and ancestral forces, the film asks, what does it mean to come into one’s power as a working young woman of color in the wealthiest nation in the world?


October 21, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Teaching With TikTok: Admission

TikTok has a treasure trove of wonderful immigration clips.

Take this fellow, for example. You could play this video and ask students to evaluate whether this gent should be admitted to the U.S. on a B2 visa (or VWP travel as the case may be).

@theworsttraveller I’m heading on a massive Road-trip across the USA, but got held at border control and questioned for 2 hours 😭🇺🇸❤️ #EndlessJourney #roadtrip #travelvlog #usa #traveltiktok #traveltheworld ♬ original sound - The Worst Traveller 🧳 🗺

Other questions you might consider: What might account for his 2 hours with CBP? Is public charge a concern? Is unauthorized work a concern? Is such a delay justified? What are the costs (to, say, the U.S. economy) when travelers are detained for such periods? 

Or here's a fictional narrative to get at terrorism screenings at admission:

@dana_utmb Now lets all get acquainted #foryou #fyp #uscustoms #airport #security #usa ♬ Crowd - Loud Airport Terminal Sound Effect - Hollywood Sound Effects


P.S. Don't forget about comparative TikTok and author John Greene's travails with entering Canada!

October 18, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 17, 2022

90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After? Andrei Plunges Into Green Card Limbo When Elizabeth Makes Major Mistake at Immigration Interview


Here is a popular culture example of a visa interview.  It is the show 90 Day Fiance:  Happily Ever After? In the latest episode, 90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?'s Andrei Castravet faced another setback in his pursuit of lawful permanent residence in the United States. This People magazine article offers details.

In the episode of the spin-off, Andrei's wife struggled during the immigration interview.  "We went for an interview at the USCA office and got grilled," Andrei, 35, explained. "We were hoping to get my permanent Green Card approved. But, it didn't happen."

"I guess we need more proof but I don't know much more proof you need," Elizabeth added.


October 17, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Thursday Sillies: Getting Past Australian Immigration

I've pointed you towards the humor of Irish comedy group Foil Arms and Hog before. They're the gents that brought you Getting Past US Immigration and Getting Past French Immigration.

Today, why not cheer yourself up with Getting Past Australian Immigration (hint -- definitely watch to the end of the interview around 1:09).


October 13, 2022 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 7, 2022 Congraess Must Act on DACA launched a new national ad campaign across TV and digital platforms today, calling on Congress to protect Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients after the Fifth Dreamers right now in the wake of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's ruling that DACA is unlawful. 


October 7, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

"German Heiress" Anna Sorokin to be Released from Immigrant Detention


Here is the latest installment of celebrity immigration news.  Convicated of fraud related crimes and facing deportation to Germany, Anna Sorokin will be released from immigration detention after a judge granted her a $10,000 bond earlier this week.

Sorokin, whose crimes inspired the Netflix series “Inventing Anna,” has been in immigration detention for 17 months.  An immigration court approved bond on the condition that she stay off social media and provide a residential address where she will complete home confinement.

Sorokin was convicted of falsely claiming to be a German heiress named Anna Delvey who had a $60 million inheritance and was raising funds to launch a Manhattan social club. She swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from friends, banks and New York City luxury hotels to support her lavish lifestyle.  This BBC podcast tells the story of the "Fake Heiress."

Sorokin was convicted of grand larceny in 2019 and sentenced to up to 12 years in prison but was released early last year for good behavior. After her release, however, she was placed in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. Sorkin has been fighting deportation to Germany.



October 7, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 16, 2022

Compelling Update from Martha's Vineyard

This video gave me literal chills. The outrage that is apparent in the voice of attorney Rachel Self, who speaks for the majority of this clip, is palpable. I think if you're looking to talk about this topic in class, this would be a fantastic video to kick of discussion.

Note Self's comments regarding how DHS officials completed paperwork -- filling in random addresses of homeless shelters in states far from where they knew the migrants were sent. That's particularly interesting given Ingrid's post from earlier today regarding a generalized practice of listing erroneous addresses (such as nonprofits without a connection to the individual) on migrants' asylum paperwork.


September 16, 2022 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)