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Eva Longoria Says We Should Focus On How Immigrants Help The Economy Because Public Has No Moral Compass

Eva Longoria pled with Senate Democrats to change the narrative about immigration at the Latino Summit. The Desperate Housewives star and co-founder of Latino Victory believes Democrats should focus on how immigrants benefit the economy, rather than stressing that there is a moral imperative to keep children out of cages. Simply put, Longoria doesn’t believe the moral argument is working. 

Longoria’s perspective is a cynical one, but not totally inaccurate. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez described the detention centers as concentration camps, a statement many historians agreed with

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are — they are concentration camps,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Instagram Live. “And if that doesn’t bother you … I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that we should not, that ‘never again’ means something.”

If concentration camps and child separation don’t get the American people outraged, then it is easy to ask what will? However, what Longoria fails to acknowledge is that the majority of Americans support immigrants and the majority who don’t are Republicans.

Eva Longoria tells Senate Democrats we need a new conversation about immigrants. 

“I do think we as Hispanics have been focused on the moral imperative — this is inhumane what is happening on the border. How we are treating other human beings, it’s just appalling,” Longoria said at the Dirksen Senate Office Building. “And that argument is not working.”

Longoria instead told senators that they should focus on the narrative that immigrants are good for the economy rather than insisting that they’re humans who have rights. 

“And so we need the economic imperative argument, right?” Longoria said. “We cannot deny that we have major industries dependent on immigrant labor. More than agriculture — it’s not just agriculture. And I think the truth of the matter is this country does not work without the engine of the immigrant community and the engine of immigrant labor.”

There is something particularly nihilistic about making the argument that humans should only be treated like human beings, if they have some sort of economic value. 

Republicans increasingly say U.S. will lose identity due to immigrants, according to Pew Research study.

“Currently, 57% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say that if the United States is too open to people from around the world, ‘we risk losing our identity as a nation,'” according to Pew Research

This is a 13 percent increase among Republicans over roughly a 10-month period — a time when the Trump administration has taken an aggressive anti-immigrant stance. Pew also notes that Democrats believe the opposite and little has changed over a two-year period. 

“Today, an overwhelming majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (86%) say America’s openness is essential to who we are as a nation; 85% said this last September,” the study indicates. 

What these numbers indicate is that an anti-immigrant stance is a bipartisan issue where Republicans are anti-immigrant and Democrats are not. Thus, Longoria’s argument is somewhat rendered moot: what Democrats have been saying about immigrants has been working because Democrats largely support immigrants. 

A majority of Americans support immigration because of their “hard work and talents.” 

Another issue with Longoria’s argument is that it is not based on any factual analysis of American attitudes. The majority of Americans support immigrants because of their economic contributions, anyway

“A majority (62%) say immigrants strengthen the country because of their hard work and talents. Just 28% say immigrants are a burden on the country because they take jobs, housing and health care,” according to Pew

Gallup reports that Americans feel immigration is the most important problem.

“Americans’ concern with immigration continues to be heightened, as 23% name it the most important problem facing the country. This is by one percentage point the highest Gallup has ever measured for the issue since it first began recording mentions of immigration in 1993,” according to Gallup

Gallup also noticed that the percentage of Americans who wanted the number of immigrants in the United States decreased also increased to 35 percent, which is consistent with the Pew study that found an increase in anti-immigrant sentiments among Republicans. 

In 2015, before Trump was elected, the Washington Post claimed that anti-immigrant rhetoric was “fueling” his support. 

“After his first speech as a presidential candidate [that] harshly criticized Mexican immigrants, voters who believed immigration was important flocked to him,” Michael Tesler of the Washington Post wrote, “Those who prioritize immigration continue to be his strongest supporters.” 

If Eva Longoria wants to get to the root of anti-immigration attitudes, then she needs to get to the root of the issue: the Trump administration’s policies, rhetoric, and the fact that Republicans — not Democrats – support them. Moreover, if the majority of Americans support immigration why doesn’t our current government reflect those attitudes? 

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With Immigration Fees Set To Increase, Advocacy Groups Are Hosting “Citizenship Weeks” To Help People Get Their Documents In On Time

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With Immigration Fees Set To Increase, Advocacy Groups Are Hosting “Citizenship Weeks” To Help People Get Their Documents In On Time

Damen Wood / Getty Images

Becoming a U.S. resident or citizen has never been an easy process. The country’s immigration system is a convoluted mess that sharply leans in favor of high-wealth individuals and under the Trump administration that is becoming more apparent than ever.

But 2020 has been an especially challenging year for immigrants seeking to complete their citizenship process.

Although it’s common for interest in naturalization to spike in the months leading up to presidential elections, the Coronavirus pandemic forced the citizenship process to a grinding halt in March. The outbreak shut offices of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) all across the country. And although many of these offices reopened in July, there is a widening backlog of applications.

Meanwhile, on October 2, looming fee increases could leave applications and citizenship out of reach for tens of thousands of immigrants, as the process becomes significantly more costly.

Many migrant advocacy groups are hosting events meant to help immigrants complete their applications before prices are set to rise.

In South Florida, the Office of New Americans (ONA) — a public-private partnership between Miami-Dade County and non-profit legal service providers — launched its second Miami Citizenship Week on Sept. 11. This 10-day event is designed to help immigrants with free legal support so participants can beat the October 2 deadline.

In addition, the event will host a mix of celebrations meant to highlight the social and economic contributions of South Florida’s large immigrant communities.

“I think in Miami we talk about how we are diverse and how we are adjacent to Latin America, but we never take a moment to celebrate immigrants and the amazing work that they do whether it’s the nurses in our hospitals, the drivers that drive our buses, small business owners,” said Krystina François, ONA’s executive director. “We need to reclaim the narrative around immigrants and around our communities because it’s what makes us great.”

However, thanks to Covid-19 restrictions, the events will all be hosted online.

Much like any other event, Covid-19 has greatly impacted this year’s “Citizenship Week.” Therefore, the event will be hosted virtually. That includes the Mega Citizenship Clinic, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 16-20. At the event, pro-bono lawyers from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Americans for Immigrant Justice and other groups will connect with attendees one-on-one on Zoom and walk them through the process of filling out the 20-page citizenship application form. 

The clinic is open to immigrants eligible to become naturalized citizens, meaning permanent residents who have had a green card for at least five years.

Cities like Dallas are also getting in on similar events, meant to welcome new residents and citizens into the city.

Dallas’ Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs is hosting a series of virtual events from Sept. 12 to Sept. 20 in honor of Welcoming Week. The virtual events aim to promote Dallas’ diverse communities and to unite all residents, including immigrants and refugees.

According to the City of Dallas, this year’s theme is Creating Home Together, and it emphasizes the importance of coming together as a community to build a more inclusive city for everyone.

Participants will be able to learn about the voting process and what will be on the next ballot during the “Vontando Por Mi Familia: Enterate para que vas a votar” event. The event, hosted in partnership with Mi Familia, will be presented in Spanish.

A Council Member, Jaime Resendez, will host a virtual program on Tuesday at 11 a.m. that celebrates Latinx art and culture. The event will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Mayor Eric Johnson will read the Welcoming Week Proclamation, and the event will feature art exhibitions and performances showcasing the talents of performers and artists across Dallas.

Attendees will also have a chance to learn more about the availability of DACA and a citizenship workshop will take place where articipants will learn how to complete their N-400 application for citizenship. Volunteer immigration attorneys and accredited representatives from the Department of Justice will be there for assistance.

The events come as fees for several immigration proceedings are set to rise by dramatic amounts come October 1.

Starting on October 2, the financial barrier will grow even taller for many immigrants as fees are set to increase. The fee to apply for U.S. citizenship will increase from $640 to $1,160 if filed online, or $ 1,170 in paper filing, a more than 80% increase in cost. 

“In the middle of an economic downturn, an increase of $520 is a really big amount,” François told the Miami-Herald.

Aside from the fee increase, many non-citizen immigrants never truly felt the need to become citizens. That was until the Coronavirus pandemic hit and had many questioning their status in the country.

“There are people who up until this COVID crisis, their status as a permanent resident didn’t impact their day-to-day life … but then the pandemic has given them another reason of why it’s important to take that extra step and become a citizen, because of the additional rights and protections that are afforded to you, but also to just have a sense of security and stability in a crisis.”

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Mexican Filmmaker Has Won Leoncino d’Oro Award At Venice Film Festival For This Must See Movie

Entertainment

Mexican Filmmaker Has Won Leoncino d’Oro Award At Venice Film Festival For This Must See Movie

Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images

Even though most of us are still under some sort of quarantine or at least practicing social distancing, much of the world (outside of the U.S. at least) has started to return to some sort of ‘new normal.’

Perhaps one of the best signs of this new normal is that Hollywood and much of the film industry has largely started back up and they’re hosting major film festivals all across the world – albeit with fewer people and a much more laid back atmosphere. We’re not seeing the red carpet events we typically used to see.

However, that hasn’t damped the overall spirit of the events – particularly at this week’s Venice Film Festival where a Mexican filmmaker took home a coveted award and is in the running for the festival’s top honor.

Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco has taken home one of the Venice Film Festival’s top awards.

Mexican filmmaker Michel Franco has won the Leoncino d’Oro Award at the Venice Film Festival for Nuevo Orden, a film depicting a dystopian version of Mexico in the not-so-distant future. 

The honor is one of several collateral awards at the festival and was presented by the Youth Jury, composed of 28 film-lovers between 18 and 25 from each of the countries in the European Union. The film was also in contention for the prestigious Golden Lion grand prize, but lost to Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland.

Since it’s debut last week, Nuevo Orden has received universally positive reviews from critics.

“Audiences might conceivably be divided on the vicious gut-punch of Franco’s approach, but as a call for more equitable distribution of wealth and power, it’s terrifyingly riveting,” the Hollywood Reporter writes. 

“At its heart, it argues that social inequality is presently so great that violence is inevitable. It’s set in Mexico, but it could be anywhere,” says Cineuropa. 

The film was screened Thursday night and drew a standing ovation from the audience and critics And has many fans around the world eagerly awaiting the chance to watch the film.

His film, Nuevo Orden, is a dystopian look at Mexico’s inequalities and paints a very stark picture of the country’s future.

Nuevo Orden, which stars Diego Boneta (of Netflix’s Luis Miguel fame), Naian González Norvind, Mónica del Carmen and Dario Yazbek Bernal, tells a tale of inequalities and political and social conflicts as the upper class in Mexico is replaced by a militaristic regime. It delves into racism, classism, poverty and wealth in ways that are uncomfortably reflective of the current unrest in several parts of the world, critics say.

To be frank, the film is extremely graphic and at times sounds difficult to watch. Unflinching cinematography depicts shocking and brutal scenes of assaults, rapes, executions, torture, blackmail and corruption.

The film opens with an opulent party for the wedding of an upper-class couple from Mexico City, which is interrupted when a legion of desperate people massacre the guests, marking the beginning of an insurrection in the streets that ends in a violent military coup that plunges the country into fascism.

“It’s a dystopian movie to say, ‘Let’s not get there,’” Franco, 41, explained.

Franco is no stranger to the awards circuit and has several award-winning films under his belt.

Credit: Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images

Michel Franco is no stranger to the awards stage. New Order, as the film is called in English, is his sixth feature film as director. Previous efforts have also won him prizes on the international film festival circuit, including a best screenplay award at the Cannes Film Festival for the 2015 film Chronic starring Tim Roth, and a Cannes Jury Prize for April’s Daughter in 2017

Meanwhile, Cholé Zhao’s Nomadland took home the festival’s top prize over the weekend.

It seems oddly fitting in a year of social distancing and remote working that a drama about a lone woman wandering the American West has won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and that the director appeared only by video link-up to receive it. Chloé Zhao’s superbly nuanced Nomadland was picked by a Cate Blanchett-led jury from an 18-strong competition at a slimmed-down edition of the event, which has widely been regarded a success (Covid-19 test results pending). 

It is the fourth year in a row that a US-made film has taken the top prize, following Joker last year, Roma (a US-Mexico production) in 2018 and The Shape of Water in 2017. Zhao, who was born in China but works in the US, is the first female director of a Golden Lion-winning film since Sofia Coppola took the prize in 2010 with Somewhere.

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