Just when you thought you’d heard it all, news of Sofia Vergara playing Zorro’ TV Series comes out, and you have to start questioning everything.
That’s right–recently the news broke that Vergara will be starring in a “Zorro” TV series where she’ll be playing a female version of the legendary masked vigilante.
According to the press release, the Colombian beauty will be playing the character of Sola Dominguez, an “underground artist who fights for social justice as a contemporary version of the mythical Zorro’ TV Series.” The plot will thicken as Dominguez’s “life is threatened by several criminal organizations after she exposes them.” So…it sounds like the series will also be set in modern times? Interesting.
The character of “Zoro” was created by Johnston McCulley in 1919. The legend follows a masked, caped crusader (alias: Don Diego de la Vega) in Alta California who defends Indigenous and poor Californians from the heartless and exploitative ruling class.
The wildly popular character started off appearing in the pages of pulp fiction books before making his big-screen debut in 1920. Since then, the character has been played by everyone from Douglas Fairbanks to Antonio Banderas to Christian Meier.
This time around, the reboot is being produced by Mexican-American Robert Rodriguez of “Machete” and “Spy Kids” fame.
According to reports, the pilot will be directed by Robert Rodriguez’s sister, writer-director Rebecca Rodriguez. So that means the main creative team is made up of Latinos and will be spearheaded by a woman. This sounds like a super exciting project!
This isn’t the first time that Rodriguez and Vergara have partnered up professionally. The duo previously teamed up for 2013’s Machete Kills in which Vergara played a deadly and seductive brothel owner.
This isn’t the first time that Robert Rodriguez has been attached to a Zorro movie. He was initially set to direct 1999’s version, The Mask of Zorro, starring Antonio Banderas, but ended up shelving that project due to creative differences.
We hope that Rodriguez can truly execute his vision this time around! We love to see Latinos as a creative force in front of and behind the camera.
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.
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.”