Last winter, I had the opportunity to watch Jose Antonio Vargas’ film “Documented” in Mountain View, California. In the audience that evening were Vargas’ grandparents, his high school teachers, and other friends and relatives. Over the past three years, I’ve gotten to know Jose, beginning when I interviewed him for BlogHer right after he revealed his undocumented status in theNew York Times. He even spoke about immigration at BlogHer ’11 in San Diego. In all of these instances, he has been a personable communicator who breaks down the complicated jargon of immigration policy down to a simple message that goes something like this: I’m an undocumented American. What are you going to do with me?
The film follows Vargas as he travels to all 50 states, talking with both supporters and opponents of immigration reform. The footage also explains the story of the life he left behind in the Phillipines when his family sent him to United States as a boy. It’s also a story of a son who cannot go to the Philippines to visit the mother he barely knows. The film is not just for those who support an overhaul of the broken immigration system. In fact, the prime audience for the documentary may be those who are wary of immigrants and opposed to pathways to citizenship.
"Documented" premieres nationally on CNN Sunday, June 29th at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT and again on 11 p.m. ET/ 9 p.m. PT
Also check the Define American website for more information about watch parties in your city.
News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.
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