NIRV Topic: Immigration and Refugee Policy and Impact
Experience the impact of immigration policy on a DACA recipient and refugee.
Here are two films from the New Immigrant and Refugee Visions (NIRV) collection – films by and about immigrants – that allow you to experience how US policy impacts the daily lives of immigrants and refugees. Before you watch them, please review the “Questions-to-consider…” at the bottom of this page.
- She’s an American Child, by Rafael DeLeon, 11 min – about the psychological and logistical challenges facing an undocumented Dominican mother and her DACA designated daughter as they wait for their future to be determined by the Supreme Court;
- Seeking Settled Ground, by Mohammad Arifuzzaman, 13 min – See how the Trump administration’s restrictions on family-based immigration impact the hopes and stability of a new Rohingya refugee whose family remains in a refugee camp.
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Editor: Zayde Buti; Additional Sound: Sayed Hashimi; Additional Editor: Hannah Engelson
Emigrated from the Dominican Republic in 2009, lives in Lynn, MA
Rafael teaches computer literacy at the KIPP Academy Charter School in Lynn, where he first learned English upon arriving in America. He co-founded The Latino Support Network and produces “Camino hacia la Integracion” (Pathways to Integration), a local TV show that interviews immigrants about the many ways they integrate into American society.
About the filmmaking process:
- Next City, “Through Documentary, Bostonians Share Their Immigrant Experience“, by Emily Nonko, Philadelphia, PA – May 14, 2019
About the issues covered in the film:
- The Daily Item, “Lynn Dreamer’s Future Uncertain With DACA in Limbo“, by Gayla Cawley, April 25, 2018
- Council on Foreign Relations, The Debate Over Immigration Policy Reform, by Claire Felter, Danielle Renwick, and Amelia Cheatham, February 24, 2020
- The Opportunity Agenda, 5 Tips for Talking About DACA – the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019, March 2019
Editors: Devvrat Mishra, Zayde Buti; Translators: Mustafa Samdani, Nahina Nasrin, and Mohammad Istiak
Emigrated from Bangladesh in 2015, lives in Quincy, MA
Mohammad is a software engineer with interests in music, theater and photography. He demonstrated incredible determination throughout the NIRV filmmaking process – filming all of one story only to have the family grow fearful about participating. His story about Mohammad Anwar is particularly relevant as so many Rohingya refugees have sought refuge in Bangladesh, his country of origin.
About the filmmaking process and filmmaker:
- WBUR, The ARTery, “Created by Immigrants, 10 Films Highlight The New Immigrant And Refugee Experience,” by Erin Trahan, Boston, MA – March 21, 2019
About Mohammad Anwar, the subject of the film:
- WGBH-Radio, four-part series on Mohammad Anwar, by Gabrielle Emanuel, Boston, MA – 2017-19
About the issues raised in the film:
- The New Humanitarian, “The Rohingya: A humanitarian emergency decades in the making,” March 25, 2019
- Pew Research Center, “Key facts about Trump administration’s proposed changes to family-based immigration and refugee admissions,” by Jens
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Questions to Consider While Watching These Films
- Should DACA recipients and their undocumented parents be granted US citizenship?
- In what ways has this film affected the way you view refugees and asylum seekers? What was the specific moment that triggered this?
- Do you have one or more places that you call home and how does that effect your sense of belonging?
- Have you ever been misunderstood or stereotyped? Have you ever witnessed someone being misunderstood or stereotyped? Were you able to take any action to change the situation? What happened?
- How do public attitudes impact policies? How do we decide which policies demonstrate social and economic justice?
- What do you want to change in your community after “meeting” these immigrants and learning about their experiences? (e.g., Individual behaviors? Public policies? Local media perspectives of your immigrant neighbors?)
- What did you relate to? What reminded you of things in your own life?
- What felt unfamiliar, new or surprising?
- What stood out to you? What will you tell your friends about?
- Can you think of an occasion when you changed your mind about an issue? What would change people’s minds about immigrants or immigration?