Artists tell stories from moments in history like this and, as such, the immigration crisis is being told. Filmmaker Daniel Sawka made a short film “Icebox” about the detention of minors in the U.S. That same short film of 33 seconds is being extended into a feature film to further tell the story about one young boy’s tale in a detention center. The film was presented at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“Icebox” is a short film starring Anthony Gonzalez, who played the beloved Miguel in Pixar’s “Coco.”
The film is about a young boy, played by Gonzalez, who becomes trapped inside “America’s rigid immigration process.” You see the young boy struggle to understand what is happening as he is manhandled by immigration officers.
The film touches on gang violence in Honduras and the reason so many minors are being forced to flee their country.
CREDIT: Gracie Films
Gonzalez plays Oscar who’s being held in a detention center, otherwise known as an ice box. The detention centers are referred too as ice boxes because they are kept at very cold temperatures.
According to the film’s website, Oscar is trying to gain control of his life.
CREDIT: Gracie Films
It is hard to tell what brought Oscar to the U.S. It might seem like he is an unaccompanied minor, however, unaccompanied minors are being created by the administration separating families. It is impossible to tell definitively if his parents were with him at the border until the movie is released.
It’s unclear if Gonzalez will play Oscar once again, but “Icebox” director Daniel Sawka is involved in the feature film version. He says it was his own story of immigration that made him want to do the film.
“For generations on my father’s side, people have been forced to migrate and relocate and find new homes,” Sawka said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s something I never experienced, but I was brought up on these stories and I wanted to find out more. Understand it better.”
Update: The State of California has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration against the announcement to deport international students. The Golden State filed after Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit against the same announcement.
A judge has set the hearing date for the lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT for Tuesday.
A federal judge in Boston will start hearing the arguments for an injunction against the recent announcement from the federal government Tuesday. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ordered that all international students will be stripped of student visas if their classes go completely online.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said that he will be filing a lawsuit as well.
Attorney General Becerra argues that the decision is arbitrary and only causes undue harm to the people impacted by the decision. Part of the argument is the disregard of the health of those who would be forced to leave. The U.S. has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world and the health risks of making thousands of international students suddenly leave the U.S.
Original: Just as students begin to contemplate what a fall semester might look like amid a global health pandemic, the Trump Administration has thrown another curveball at foreign university students. In a new rule issued by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, foreign students must return to their home country if their school will no longer be offering in-person learning, effectively forcing students to decide between full classrooms or international travel during a health crisis.
Once again, a cruel and poorly thought out, hastily announced rule change has thrown the lives of hundreds of thousands into doubt.
The Trump Administration announced new rules that require foreign students in the U.S. to be part of in-person classes.
Despite the global pandemic that is currently spiraling out of control in the U.S., the Trump Administration has issued new immigration guidelines that require foreign students to be enrolled in in-person learning. With this new rule, foreign students attending colleges that will operate entirely online this fall semester cannot remain in the country to do so.
The new comes just as college students begin to contemplate what their upcoming semester might look like and leaves them with an uncomfortable choice: attend in-person classes during a pandemic or take them online from another country.
And for students enrolled in schools that have already announced plans to operate fully online, there is no choice. Under the new rules, the State Department will not issue them visas, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow them to enter the country.
“Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status,” read a release from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program. “If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings
Already, several major universities have announced their intention to offer online learning because of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The strict new rule comes as higher education institutions are releasing information on their reopening plans. Schools are preparing to offer in-person instruction, online classes or a mix of both.
Eight percent of colleges are planning to operate online, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, which is tracking the reopening plans of more than 1,000 U.S. colleges. Sixty percent are planning for in-person instruction, and 23% are proposing a hybrid model, with a combined 8.5% undecided or considering a range of scenarios.
Harvard University is one of the latest institutions to unveil its plans, announcing on Monday that all undergraduate and graduate course instruction for the academic year will be held online. Joining Harvard’s stance are other prestigious universities, including Princeton and the University of Southern California.
The U.S. has more than 1 million international students from around the world.
The U.S. is the number one destination for foreign students around the globe. More than a million foreign students are enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities, although that number has dipped slightly in recent years – largely attributed to the election of Donald Trump.
Mexico sends more than 15,000 students to the U.S. and Brazil is responsible for 16,000 foreign students in the country. By contrast, China and India send a combined almost 600,000 students to study in the U.S.
The new rule is expected to cost U.S. colleges and universities more than $4 billion.
Putting aside the very real health implications of forcing students to decide between attending in-person classes or traveling back to their home country amid a global pandemic, the U.S. economy is also going to take a hit.
International students in the U.S. contributed nearly $41 billion to the national economy in the 2018-2019 academic year. According to the Institute of International Education, the vast majority of funding for international students comes from overseas, rather than being funded by their host institutions, meaning that international students are big business for American universities. While students will still be required pay tuition fees, it’s possible that a hostile policy towards people seeking to study in the US could discourage prospective students.
If fewer international students are able to study in this country, it could spell trouble for the colleges that bank on them. Over the last decade, deep cuts in state funding for higher education have put pressure on schools to admit more students who need less aid, which is why so many schools have come to rely on the revenue from foreign students, who typically pay top dollar.
“Those students are also, by and large, paying full tuition to study in this country,” Lakhani said. “That’s a really valuable tuition base.”
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For three years, people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status faced an uncertain future. The Trump administration was involved in legal battles after abruptly eliminating the program. For the third time this week, the Supreme Court has handed down a major loss for the Trump administration as they protected DACA from Trump’s attack.
The Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration cannot end DACA.
The 5-4 decision is the third major legal loss for the Trump administration this week. SCOTUS ruled earlier this week that LGBTQ+ cannot be fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity. The court also refused to take up a case challenging California’s sanctuary state law letting the law stand.
The decision to temporarily protect DACA was a split decision with all of the conservative justices (Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Samuel A. Alito Jr.) voting in favor of the Trump administration. Justice John Robert joined the liberal justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan saving the program from the Trump administration, for now.
In the ruling, written by Justice John Roberts, the court cites that the acting secretary of state violated the Administrative Procedures Act when ending the program. Basically, the announcement was lacking substance and did not address key parts of the policy. This made the announcement void of an argument supporting the dismantling of the program.
The ruling is only temporary relief for the hundreds of thousands of young people on DACA.
While the program has been spared, it is not completely saved. The decision from the Supreme Court today focuses on the way DACA was eliminated, not the actual elimination. This means that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) now has time to reevaluate its case against DACA to try again.
“The Court still does not resolve the question of DACA’s rescission,” Alito wrote in his dissent. “Instead, it tells the Department of Homeland Security to go back and try again.”
The conservative justices, while dissenting, did release statements that agreed with parts of the decision to block the Trump administration from eliminating DACA. The Trump administration first announced that they were ending DACA in 2017 with a press conference on the border led by Jeff Sessions.
Justice Sotomayor made her own headlines after calling the case a racist attack.
“I would not so readily dismiss the allegation that an executive decision disproportionately harms the same racial group that the President branded as less desirable mere months earlier,” Justice Sotomayor wrote in her concurrence of the decision.
Organizers and activists are giving credit to the DACA community for this victory.
The DACA community has led the charge to protect their status in the U.S. The movement has largely been done thanks to the work of DACA recipients fighting for their right to be here. For many, it is the only country they know after arriving to the U.S. without proper documentation when they were young children.
The president has tweeted his clear displeasure on the Supreme Court that he tried to stack in his favor by appointing two justices.
Both justice Kavanaugh and Gorsuch were Trump’s appointees. After three losses from the Supreme Court, President Trump followed his usual playbook and accused the Supreme Court of not liking him.
Now, it is time for Congress to act.
With DACA recipients temporarily spared sudden deportation, Congress must act and pass legislation protecting Dreamers from being deported. The Dream Act is one piece of legislation that offers DACA recipients a pathway to citizenship, something most Americans agree with.