Students Tackle Immigration in New Documentary

Issues surrounding immigration reform hits home for Montgomery County Public Schools student Alyssa.

“Most of my family came here from Mexico and El Salvador undocumented,” she said. “Them living here in the United States is an amazing feeling but all the hate that they get […] I don’t like it.”

Which is why Alyssa teamed up with seven other students in the Gandhi Brigade Youth Media program to “get real” about immigration and clear up some misconceptions about immigrants in their new documentary titled, “The Fabric of America.”

Hundreds of people gathered in the Cultural Arts Center on Montgomery College’s Takoma Park Silver Spring Campus Wednesday night for the unveiling of the student’s new video that explored immigration issues from both sides of the argument.

The film opened with a speech from President Donald Trump accusing immigrants of bringing crime  to the country followed by statistics denouncing the president’s claim and how immigrants are less likely to commit crimes.

Those statistics, however, didn’t cut if for a representative from the Federation For American Immigration Reform (FAIR) who told students working on the film why their families, if undocumented, should be deported because regardless if they pay taxes, they’re “breaking the law.”

Following the screening, a panel discussion with Councilmember Nancy Navarro, and representatives from Casa de Maryland, the UndocuBlack Network and the office of U.S. Representative Adriano Espaillat, discussed how immigration policies at the federal level impact residents on the local level.

“One of the biggest challenges right now is the trust between police and immigrants,” Navarro said.

Students said their overall goal for the film is to open up people’s mind about immigration reform and having immigrants as neighbors.

“Adults rarely hear the true sentiments of youth in our community,” Evan Glass, executive director for Gandhi Brigade Youth Media, said. “This documentary puts their thoughts to a compelling and touching piece of media that can spark conversation at community events, in houses of worships and at boards and commissions.”

“This gives me hope,” Montgomery County School Board Member Jill Ortman-Fouse, said. “When I see these kids own their voice and I hear their confidence, I think we can go somewhere different than where we are now. We are in a very sad place.”

Watch the trailer below:

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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at and on Twitter @mittimegan.


2 Responses to “Students Tackle Immigration in New Documentary”

  1. Avatar
    On October 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm responded with... #
    The Problem With Downplaying Immigrant Crime
    Information on Incarcerations, Arrests, and Costs
    Criminal immigrants reoffend at higher rates than ICE has suggested

  2. Avatar
    On October 12, 2017 at 12:44 pm responded with... #

    Sanctuary Cities are nothing more than holding pens for prey for Illegal Alien Criminals. Never mentioned is the existence of the U Visa which protects Illegal Aliens who report or are a victim of crime. I wonder why?
    U.S.Sanctuary Bills in Maryland Faced a Surprise Foe: Legal Immigrants

    “The failure of the sanctuary bills in Maryland reveals a potentially troublesome fissure for Democrats as they rush to defy Mr. Trump. Their party has staked out an activist position built around protecting undocumented immigrants. But it is one that has alienated many who might have been expected to support it.”

    Obama administration has admitted that Sanctuary Cities are a problem:

    But, within the above letter, doesn’t really address what the Obama administration will actually do about it to protect US Citizens:

    IGS poll: Californians oppose sanctuary city policies

    “Californians strongly oppose “sanctuary city” policies under which local authorities ignore federal requests to detain undocumented immigrants who have been arrested but are about to be released, according to a new poll released today by the Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) at UC Berkeley.”

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