Adventures in Links — August 28, 2015 (Immigrants)

A few fun links to start your weekend off right. 🙂

Theme: Immigrants

As Presidential hopefuls traipse across this great nation trying to garner votes, immigration has once again become a hot topic. How many immigrants are there? What do they want? Are they evil? Should we be totally freaking out? Well, I have a few cool articles and videos for everyone to humanize immigrants because, surprisingly, they’re just like natural-born Americans! Who knew?

Our first link is the above video by AJ+, a global news community organization that highlights human struggles and achievements and marginalized stories. This video, “Immigration: Myth vs. Facts,” busts a few common immigration beliefs such as immigrants being linked to violent crimes and stealing “real Americans’” jobs. It’s a short, to-the-point video that’s easy to understand and well-documented.

Next we have an article from the July/August 2015 issue of Poets & Writers, “Rethinking Poetic Citizenship” by Momo Chang. Until reading this article, I hadn’t realized how many writing avenues were barred to undocumented immigrants, but I was pleased to see that poets Javier Zamora, Christopher Soto, and Marcelo Hernandez Castillo had started a petition to get contests to drop the US citizenship requirement – and that many venues were receptive!

Another great article, “The Telling Room” by Joshua Bodwell, comes from the March/April 2015 issue of Poets & Writers. The Telling Room is a Portland, Maine-based nonprofit that encourages kids to express their own voice and story through story-telling. Recently, they’ve begun to focus on immigrant and refugee voices, which have been very well-received. It is such a cool project.

However, if you’d actually like to see and hear an undocumented immigrant tell his story (and his take on Donald Trump’s outrageous and insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants), click here to learn about Ricardo Aca, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who works at the Trump Soho Building. Ricardo does a wonderful job of showing what he and his family want in life and how they regard America. It’s a great video.

Finally, I had to privilege of discovering this amazing Ted Talk by Anand Giridharadas entitled “A Tale of Two Americas. And the Mini-Mart Where They Collided.” This is more about two factions of America that collided shortly after September 11th: one, immigrant and hopeful, the other native and resigned. It is an incredibly powerful video that I can’t recommend enough. It really brought home what we as Americans need to do to preserve the American Dream and how our country has failed its own citizens. Please watch.

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