Things That Matter

The Music Video For ‘Immigrants’ On The ‘Hamilton Mixtape’ Shows The Real Life Struggles Of Immigrants

On the heels of announcing his social-media fundraiser #Ham4All to raise money for the “Immigrants: We Get The Job Done Coalition,” Lin-Manuel Miranda still had more work to do. This week he dropped a powerful music video for the song from “The Hamilton Mixtape” called “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done).” Featuring international artists Residente, Snow Tha Product, K’naan and Riz MC (aka actor Riz Ahmed), the video was released during a live taping of “Today” on NBC.

On Tuesday, just one day after announcing his fundraiser to help immigrants, Lin-Manuel Miranda appeared on “Today” to drop a music video for a new song.

As you can tell from the GIF above, Miranda was giddy with excitement to discuss his social media campaign #Ham4All. The effort aims to raise funds for non-profits that help immigrants by offering “Hamilton” tickets as a prize. The tickets will go to someone who donates at least $10 and posts a video of themselves singing a song from “Hamilton.”

But then it was time to get down to business and talk about the new music video, which did NOT disappoint.

The video shows powerful images of what working conditions are like for immigrants.

Credit: Hamilton: An American Musical / Youtube

The visual metaphor is heightened by the fact that these workers are working tirelessly to make U.S. flags.

Another clip goes on to show the blue collar, often thankless, jobs that immigrants end up doing.

Credit: Hamilton: An American Musical / Youtube

The video shows the hard jobs we know that immigrants take in order to achieve the American dream.

Snow Tha Product spits in a dope bilingual rap, while Riz MC brings that Grime sound from the UK.

Credit: Hamilton: An American Musical / Youtube

They speak on two important, but different experiences, one of immigrants and the other of refugees.

Much of the music video shows the harrowing experiences some immigrants have before coming to the U.S. for a better life.

Credit: Hamilton: An American Musical / Youtube

The video aims to paint the realities of the immigrant experience in all of its colors.

Residente pops up at the end, rapping from the top of a train, throwing his middle fingers up at the establishment.

Credit: Hamilton: An American Musical / Youtube

With ICE raids occurring at the rate they are in the U.S. right now, this is another reality immigrants are currently facing.

Check out the entire video below.

Credit: Hamilton: An American Musical / Youtube

And if you’re moved to do something, join the #Ham4All campaign, might be a cool way to help out and get a chance to see Hamilton when it comes to Los Angeles in August.


READ: Everyone Is Getting Involved In This New Challenge That Aims To Raise Funds For Non-Profits That Help Immigrants


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In Bombshell Report, ICE Agents Are Accused of ‘Torturing’ African Asylum-Seekers to Get Them to Sign Their Own Deportation Documents

Things That Matter

In Bombshell Report, ICE Agents Are Accused of ‘Torturing’ African Asylum-Seekers to Get Them to Sign Their Own Deportation Documents

Photo: Bryan Cox/Getty Images

A bombshell report published in The Guardian alleges that ICE officers are using torture to force Cameroonian asylum seekers to sign their own deportation orders. The report paints an even starker picture of Immigration and Customs Enforcement–an agency that is already widely criticized as corrupt and inhumane.

The deportation documents the immigrants have been forced to sign are called the Stipulated Orders of Removal. The documents waive asylum seekers’ rights to further immigration hearings and mean they consent to being deported.

The asylum seekers allege that the torture in ICE custody consisted of choking, beating, pepper-spraying, breaking fingers, and threats on their lives.

“I refused to sign,” recounted one Cameroonian asylum-seeker to The Guardian. “[The ICE officer] pressed my neck into the floor. I said, ‘Please, I can’t breathe.’ I lost my blood circulation. Then they took me inside with my hands at my back where there were no cameras.”

He continued: “They put me on my knees where they were torturing me and they said they were going to kill me. They took my arm and twisted it. They were putting their feet on my neck…They did get my fingerprint on my deportation document and took my picture.” Other witnesses recount similar violent experiences.

Experts believe that the escalation of deportations is directly related to the upcoming election and the possibility that ICE might soon be operated under a different administration. The theory is that ICE is coercively deporting “key witnesses” in order to “silence survivors and absolve ICE of legal liability.”

“In late September, early October of this year, we began to receive calls on our hotline from Cameroonian and Congolese immigrants detained in Ice prisons across the country. And they were being subjected to threats of deportation, often accompanied by physical abuse,” said Christina Fialho, executive director of Freedom for Immigrants, to The Guardian.

Many of the Cameroonians who are in the U.S. to seek asylum have legitimate claims to danger back in their home countries. Many of these Cameroonians come from an English-speaking minority in Cameroon that are violently target by the government there–some have died. The violence has been condemned by The United Nations and Amnesty International.

As with many immigrant stories of people who are seeking asylum, these immigrants’ lives are in danger in their home country. They are coming to the United States for a better life. But instead, they are faced with the agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, whom they claim brutally mistreat them.

According to report, the U.S. is deporting entire airplanes full of asylum-seekers back to their home countries–deportations that have not been given due process and have been authorized under duress.

An ICE spokesperson contacted by The Guardian called the reports “sensationalist” and “unsubstantiated” while roundly refuting the claims. “Ice is firmly committed to the safety and welfare of all those in its custody. Ice provides safe, humane, and appropriate conditions of confinement for individuals detained in its custody,” she said.

Read the entire report here.

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‘Hamilton’ And When We All Vote Get Creative To Engage Voters In The Upcoming Election

Entertainment

‘Hamilton’ And When We All Vote Get Creative To Engage Voters In The Upcoming Election

Walter McBride / WireImage

When Disney+ started streaming “Hamilton,” the wildly popular Broadway musical made it into the homes of millions. The mix of rap lyrics and American history set the musical apart from the beginning. Now, “Hamilton” is teaming up with When We all Vote to get people charged up for the election.

“Hamilton” has never been shy to get involved in politics.

The musical has a diverse cast of Black and Latino actors and singers deliver a tremendous performance with a powerful message. The musical makes the case that every American should have the opportunity for their voice to be heard.

Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda raises the importance of unification no matter race, religion, or socioeconomic status. His work emphasizes the notion that all Americans can make the difference in reframing our nation’s narrative. “Hamilton” is not the only project where he aims for others to feel inspired for change.

Miranda has partnered up with When We All Vote to focus on voter education.

When We All Vote is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization launched by Michelle Obama and Janelle Monae in 2018 aiming to to focus on bridging the gap around race and age within voter culture. The organization hopes to raise awareness on the importance of voting especially in the upcoming election in November. Knowing Miranda’s activistm, he was bound to do so with an exciting spin.

Miranda is taking music from “Hamilton” and changing the lyrics to encourage voters.

Miranda and When We All Vote want all people out there to stand up and make their voices heard. Lyrics like “I’m just an ordinary citizen/ I’m not political, I’ve never been/ And I don’t vote/ I don’t vote” in the tune of “Alexander Hamilton” raises awareness that choosing not to vote weighs equally as heavily in the election and has resulted in the swayed outcome of our past presidential election back in 2016, where the nearly 100 million voters who were claimed as non-participatory contributed in swinging it more in the favor of the current occupant of the white house. 

Miranda is conscious of all sides of why the public may be hesitant to be active such as voter fraud and the lack of education on how to register amidst the current Covid-19 restrictions. The team addresses every concern with ingenious lyrics and tunes that create an exciting atmosphere around election talk. With a creative, exciting, and revolutionary way of getting information so you can vote in the next primary, who wouldn’t want to get involved? So go get your ballot ready and “Let’s get this done!”

For more information on When We All Vote’s initiative, click here. And to register to vote, visit our homepage and click on the Register to Vote icon pop up because “you are not throwing away your shot.”

READ: ‘Hamilton’ Won’t Be Eligible For An Academy Award Next Year

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