Suppose you couldn’t celebrate Mother’s Day with your mom because she is in a different country, and she cannot come to the United States to be with you, and you risk losing everything you have in the country by travelling to be with her? That’s the predicament of journalist and immigration reform advocate Jose Antonio Vargas, and why he has spent the last two years working on an film, “Documented”, which explores immigration in the United States through his own life story. He was brought to the U.S. at the age of 12 from the Philippines, without legal paperwork.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, Vargas is sharing with BlogHer a teaser of the film. Notice that the clip is set to the spiritual “Sometimes I Feel Like Motherless Child”. Vargas tells me this is a song he learned with his middle school choir, two years after arriving in California . The lyrics have special meaning for him -- as he has been separated from his own mother for 20 years and is unable to obtain citizenship in his new homeland, America.
Jose Antonio Vargas and mother, Image Credit: "Documented"
While Vargas’ story is perhaps the most well-known example of a family torn apart by current immigration laws, it is not unique. There are currently 4.4 million applicants waiting for green cards through family sponsorships. And that is the point Vargas hopes people will see through this peek at his personal turmoil: that immigration reform is about people – and their families.
Documented will premier this June at the AFI Docs film festival in Washington D.C. area.
Take a moment to check out the video and tell us what you think in the comments.
News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs about raising an Asian mixed-race family at HapaMama.
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