It’s difficult to watch the crowdfunding trailer to “Building The American Dream” and not get angry. The film highlights the key role that undocumented construction workers have had in Texas’ economic boom. Even as immigrants are propping up the state’s economic growth, they face harsh working conditions that fall well into the realm of exploitation. Every day, they face dangerous environments, low pay, uncertainty, no benefits of any kind, and if that wasn’t enough, these overburdened workers are constantly being vilified on television by politicians in need of a platform.
If you want to politicize their existence, that’s on you. But these are people motivated by what we all want: A place to call our own and the ability to live a life with some level of self-determination. Sadly, these high-risk, low-paying jobs are what is typically available for men and women who don’t happen to have that piece of paper. If there is one bit of inspiration in their struggle, it’s the fortitude and dignity with which they carry themselves in spite of the conditions they endure. If these workers are able to achieve this much with so many restrictions facing them, imagine the level of greatness this country could achieve if they’re given a fighting chance.
Show your support by checking out the campaign here.
Sports have a way of bringing people together. The experience of rooting for your team is a unifying feeling that transcends borders and culture. Showtime is exploring the importance of sports through the lens of the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos.
“Bad Hombres” is a documentary highlighting immigration under President Trump through baseball.
Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos are the only binational professional baseball team in the world. The team splits their home games between stadiums in Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Director Andrew Glazer wanted to highlight the immigration issue through a sports lens to offer a different layer to the narrative.
“Most of the people trying to come into the U.S. are families and children trying to escape horrible violence in Central America,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “That story has been told, so what I wanted to do was show people in a way that I thought would be relatable to what life is like on the border. What life is like on those two sides and how interconnected they are. The thing that struck me to be honest is that initially in Laredo, Texas was how pervasive Spanish is spoken.”
The documentary shows the struggles of the baseball team trying to make sense of the volatile U.S.-Mexico border relations.
The Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos split time playing their home games between two stadiums in the U.S. and Mexico. The Trump administration’s constant battle with Mexico and threats to close the border put the team’s season in jeopardy. A first look teaser shows team managers trying to coordinate the release of game tickets in time with the ever-changing immigration announcements from the Trump administration.
“Bad Hombres” speaks politics without directly addressing politics.
“Even though my film has an overarching political message, the players are not covertly or overtly political in any way,” Glazer told CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “They are baseball players and they are living their lives and a lot of them are trying to make it to the majors and some of them were in the majors and are now finishing their careers. There wasn’t a whole lot of political discussions.”
Glazer made sure to highlight the depths and complexities of the team members dealing with the political climate without politics.
“Inherently, what made the team fascinating is you had players from the U.S. who were Anglo-American players and Mexican American players who had a different perspective,” Glazer told DJ Sixsmith. “Then you had Mexican players and some Dominican players and Cuban and people from everywhere else. There were different languages and different perspectives. Seeing how that developed over time was pretty fascinating.”
An overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers. Hundreds of thousands of young adults rely on the protection from deportation and work authorization to live with dignity and out of the shadows. Presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to make sure they stay protected.
Dreamers are looking to a Biden administration to finish what an Obama administration started.
According to the official Biden campaign website, the presidential nominee will work with Congress to reinstate DACA protections and to create a pathway to citizenship. DACA was won by undocumented activists putting fear aside and publicly fought to change the minds of Americans and politicans.
“Undocumented ‘youth’ are no longer youth,” says Moises Serrano, DACA activist and the man profiled in the documentary “Forbidden.” “DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants have been living in fear and instability for decades now. We survived eight years under the Obama administration and four years under the Trump administration. Immigration reform was promised under the Obama-Biden platform; a promise that is still unfulfilled.”
He added: “We hope that President Biden puts an end to the instability in our lives once and for all, or we are ready to hold him accountable in the same way we held Obama accountable in our fight for Administrative Relief.”
Biden’s policy proposes protecting Dreamers and helping them advance in this country.
Biden promises to reinstate DACA to protect Dreamers and will be looking into ways to protect their families. The policy put forth by a potential Biden administration is pivotal in giving those who are DACA recipients a chance to live without fear and with all of the rights as their fellow citizens.
“After living through a deep loss in 2016 after losing my second mother and only being granted access to be on her deathbed in Mexico through my ability to get advanced parole through DACA I learned that no loss would ever be greater than that,” said Cindy Nava, a DACA recipient, political operative and policy advocate. “However, November rolled around and another loss took place. One that impacted my life, that of my family and my community.”
DACA is a very important issue as hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are on the line.
People like Nava are hopeful that a Biden administration will bring that dignity back to the immigrant community. It is a community that is vibrant and has contributed vastly to American culture. A BIden administration would be a chance for Nava to see herself reflected in government.
“I am hopeful to see the daughter of immigrants, a woman of color, and a woman I can finally feel represented by be sworn in as the first woman VP of this country,” Nava says. “I will look forward to an administration that listens to the communities it intends to represent. An administration that empowers the entire country to work with each other to support, strengthen, respect and uplift each other each and every day. An administration that values and is grateful for the contributions that immigrants bring to the foundation of our country each and every day.”
Nava wants to see an immigration reform that puts immigrant humanity at the forefront. One that understands the needs for people to seek refuge and a better life in a foreign country.
“No immigrant seeks to find a fix on a silver platter. Nor do they believe that this will be an easy task,” Nava says. “The only thing our families ask for is a chance. Una oportunidad para recordarle a este pais that their lucha and determination comes from a deep sense of ganas to create a life filled with more opportunities than they ever had.”
The battle over DACA is far from over but it is clear that the Trump administration is on the wrong side of public opinion. Biden’s plan would strengthen DACA and restore the program to its full functionality.