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A New Documentary Shows How an Undocumented Immigrant from Colombia Found Her Voice

CREDIT: POV Interactive/YouTube

“My mom raised me in an environment where speaking out about your status is wrong.”

Contrary to popular Donald Trump’s belief, not all undocumented immigrants come from Mexico. PBS’s new documentary, Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie) tells the heartbreaking story and eventual triumph of Colombian immigrant Angy Rivera. Rivera held two secrets throughout her young life: she was an undocumented child living in the US and she was abused by her step-father.

However, Rivera didn’t remain silent. She started writing a column on the New York State Youth Leadership Council website called “Ask Angy,” which became the first undocumented-youth advice column in the country.

“Being undocumented isn’t something we can put in the back of our heads,”Rivera says in the film. “When I wake up, it’s the first thing I think about.”

The film chronicles her story as a young undocumented girl to a woman who spoke up about her past through writing and social media, supporting thousands of undocumented immigrants in the process.

The film premieres September 21 on PBS. Find out more about Rivera’s story and the film on PBS’ page.

READ: Letters of Detained Immigrants are Getting Mass Exposure by Becoming Works of Art

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9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Things That Matter

9-Year-Old Migrant Girl Drowns While Trying to Cross the Rio Grande in the U.S.

Photo via Getty Images

On March 20th, U.S. Border Patrol agents found a 9-year-old migrant girl unresponsive along with her mother and sibling on an island in the Rio Grande.

U.S. Border Patrol agents attempted to resuscitate the family. The agents were able to revive the mother and her younger, 3-year-old child. The Border Patrol agents transferred the 9-year-old migrant girl to emergency medics in emergency medics in Eagle Pass, Texas, but she remained unresponsive.

In the end, the 9-year-old migrant girl died–the cause of death being drowning.

The mother of the two children was Guatemalan while the two children were born in Mexico.

The death of the 9-year-old migrant girl is notable because this is the first migrant child death recorded in this current migration surge. And experts worry that it won’t be the last.

And while this is the first child death, it is not the only migrant who has died trying to make it across the border. On Wednesday, a Cuban man drowned while trying to swim across the border between Tijuana and San Diego. He was the second migrant to drown in just a two-week period.

Why is this happening?

According to some reports, the reason so many migrants are heading towards the U.S. right now is “because President Trump is gone”. They believe they have a better chance of claiming asylum in the U.S.

Another factor to take into consideration is that a large number of these migrants are unaccompanied minors. According to migrant services volunteer Ruben Garcia, Title 42 is actually having the opposite effect of its intent. President Trump enacted Title 42 to prevent immigration during COVID-19 for “safety reasons”.

“Families that have been expelled multiple times that are traveling with children,” Garcia told PBS News Hour. “Some of them are making the decision to send their children in by themselves, because they have families someplace in the U.S., and they know their children will be released to them.”

Is there a “border crisis”?

That depends on who you ask. According to some experts, the numbers of migrants heading to the U.S./Mexico border aren’t out-of-the-ordinary considering the time of year and the fact that COVID-19 made traveling last year virtually impossible.

According to Tom Wong of the University of California at San Diego’s U.S. Immigration Policy Center, there is no “border crisis”. “This year looks like the usual seasonal increase, plus migrants who would have come last year but could not,” Wong says.

As the Washington Post explained: “What we’re seeing right now is a predictable seasonal shift. When the numbers drop again in June and July, policymakers may be tempted to claim that their deterrence policies succeeded.”

What is the Biden Administration planning on doing about it?

As of now, it is pretty evident that the Biden Administration has not been handling this migrant surge well, despite ample warning from experts. As of now, President Biden has put Vice President Harris in charge of handling the issues at the border.

As of now, the game plan is still very vague. But in the past, the Biden Administration has stated that they plan to fix the migrant surge at the source. That means providing more aid to Central America in order to prevent further corruption of elected officials.

They also want to put in place a plan that processes children and minors as refugees in their own countries before they travel to the U.S. The government had not tested these plans and they may take years to implement. Here’s to hoping that these changes will prevent a case like the death of the 9-year-old migrant girl.

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Chris Pérez Discusses Selena’s Death in New E! Documentary, ‘Death of Innocence’

Entertainment

Chris Pérez Discusses Selena’s Death in New E! Documentary, ‘Death of Innocence’

via YouTube

A new documentary on Selena Quintanilla’s death appeared on E! Entertainment television on Monday night. The documentary, called “True Hollywood Story: Death of Innocence”, takes a true-crime approach to Selena Quintanilla‘s death at the hands of Yolanda Saldívar.

The “Death of Innocence” series is meant to explore the “lives and legacies” or superstars whose lives were negatively impacted by obsessed fans who were “convinced they shared an intimate bond”. The “Death of Innocence” series will also have episodes devoted to singer Christina Grimmie and actress Rebecca Schaeffer.

This isn’t the first E! True Hollywood story dedicated to the Queen of Tejano music. In 1996, the celebrity news network aired a documentary called “The Selena Murder Trial” that focused on the aftermath of Selena’s death.

In “Death of Innocence”, Pérez detailed the trauma that he experienced because of Selena’s death. “It was traumatic, it was the hardest thing up until that point that I had ever had to go through,” Pérez, who was 25 at the time of Selena’s death, explained.

He went on to describe how he still experiences grief due to the loss of his wife. “I [still] miss her face, her laughter. She was just an amazing soul, an amazing spirit,” he said.

He also revealed how his short time with Selena changed his life forever. “She taught me a lot,” he said. “I used to never tell people I love them, you know? Or I miss them, or just give them gifts just because. I learned those things and many, many other things from her.”

Chris Pérez also explained that he has bared the brunt of fans’ grief and anger over the tragic way that Selena was taken from this earth.

“I heard fans that are like, ‘How could we let that happen?'” he revealed in “Death of Innocence”. “Come on now, you think that I would let anything happen to her, like seriously? None of us thought that [losing her] was even a possibility.”

He went on to explain that Selena’s loved ones believed they had done everything they could to keep her safe. “On the road, we had security so I never really feared for her safety,” he said. “You know, especially the way it happened to her. The fact that one of her friends did that, it’s just unbelievable.”

But as Martin Gomez, Selena’s designer, explained in the documentary, “evil can creep up into your home, and you don’t know that evil is there.”

The film also touched on the excitement that Selena had about releasing her upcoming English-language album.

As “Death of Innocence” explained, while Selena was a superstar in the American Spanish-speaking community, she wasn’t a mainstream star yet. But those around her had high hopes for her.

“Doing the English record, that was always the next big goal for her,” Pérez said. And after her death, it “felt like we had to finish it.” But completing the album when Selena wasn’t there was a painful struggle for her widower.

“Them pushing play for me to record the guitar tracks and to hear her voice coming out the speakers in the studio, it was just painful to go in [the recording booth] and have to create parts and make them sound a certain way, when really inside you’re just dying,” he explained

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