About the Documentary Film
As the filmmakers of DREAM: An American Story, we have spent the last four years filming Juan Gomez and his struggle to remain in the only country he has ever known. We have also been busy documenting marches and protests throughout the nation, recording the failure of Congress to pass any kind of immigration reform legislation (so far), and interviewing family, friends, colleagues, students, national and regional politicians, immigration reform advocates, lawyers, ordinary citizens, and youth activists advocating for passage of the DREAM Act.
In those four years, and now beginning the fifth year of this journey, we have discovered that this nation is once again at war with itself – struggling to define what it means to be a nation of immigrants in today’s complex political and economic environment and how this cherished idea shapes our psyche, our values and ultimately, our national character.
Set in today’s heated immigration debate and polarized political climate, we examine the US’s currently dysfunctional immigration system through the following three lenses:
- The personal circumstances of Juan Gomez
- The rise of the national student and youth activist movement advocating for passage of the DREAM Act, and
- The impact of immigration policy and laws on the nation
Via the three proposed storylines, audiences will come to know the personal and often emotional challenges that undocumented immigrants all over this nation struggle with every day. But this isn’t a film about failure and disappointment, although there is plenty of that. It’s a film about the remarkable strength, creativity, talent, perseverance and plain ol’ American grit that each and every one of these undocumented immigrants make so clearly visible every day in their struggle for a better life and the freedoms that we, as United States citizens enjoy, and sometimes, take for granted.
The political climate surrounding the issue of immigration has changed considerably in the last six months and at this very moment, Congress is introducing Comprehensive Immigration Reform bills via both chambers. The fact that politicians from both sides of the aisle are finally responding to the national call for reform is not happening by accident. Due to tremendous activism by DREAMers, immigration reform advocacy organizations, pro immigrant activists and concerned citizens all over the U.S., the 2012 Presidential Election showed just how important the issue of immigration is to a large majority of the populace.
But WE THE PEOPLE must not remain quiet as the challenge still remains: to do everything in our power to help pass immigration reform. The hard fought gains of the past 6-12 months must reach the end goal of transforming our immigration system. Our NEW immigration system needs to include an expedited path to citizenship for DREAM Act eligible students; provide a path to legalization and citizenship for the 11M+ undocumented immigrants in the country, and; make sure that the system does not unnecessarily block future waves of immigration.
For that to happen, it’s not enough to just watch a documentary film. For that to happen, we need every single one of you to get involved and advocate for passage of Comprehensive Immigration Reform. There are links within this website to actions you can take: petitions you can sign, social media you can utilize, and other websites you can go to, in order to create the right kind of impact and push for change.
Please help us to do that!
As a nation, we have the power to emerge from this challenge with a new understanding of who we are as Americans, incorporating our history, ideals and tradition: a tradition that has always led us to ultimately embrace the new hopes and new faces of immigrants from all over the globe, and a history that has made us a shining beacon of freedom for the rest of the world.
I’m trying to live up to that promise…I hope we can all rise to the challenge!
DREAM: An American Story
April 5, 2013