The documentary includes testimonies from lawyers, social workers, academics and who have firsthand knowledge and insight into the hardship of family separation and the challenges of reunification.
The documentary is complete, but producers have turned to crowd-funding to get this documentary out.
immigrantchildren.ca reviewed the documentary Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth two years ago. It is a provocative and moving piece depicting the triumphs and challenges faced by undocumented youth in the US. Now, Papers, the book has been released. From the announcement:
“Papers the Book is here!! Order your copy today!
“This beautiful book includes 30 stories by undocumented youth and is illustrated with color drawings by undocumented artist Julio Salgado.
“These moving and inspiring stories were written by young people who range in age from 10 to 32. They were born in countries throughout the world and raised in the United States. The writers sent these stories to Graham Street Productions during the production of the documentary film Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth.
“For bulk and educational orders of this book, please contact us at email@example.com or 503-282-8683.
“For press inquiries or for a review copy, please contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-282-8683″.
There is no one undocumented experience. Some of our parents crossed the border without authorization, some of us came here legally and overstayed visas, some of us were escaping persecution while some came seeking more prosperity. We are from all over the world. But somewhere in all our stories, there is a common thread: there is an act of love.
– Prerna Lal, Undocumented and Unafraid
Undocumented youth have been the leaders of a cultural transformation that has swept the country, making huge gains for the immigrant rights movement. Unapologetic and unafraid, they are writing their own history and establishing new rules in the game.
– Favianna Rodriguez, artist and co-editor of Reproduce & Revolt
In the dawn of the 21st century, undocumented youth are a living testament to what is enduring about the American spirit.
– Jose Antonio Vargas, award-winning journalist and founder of Define American
New research from Childcare & Early Education Research on how classroom dynamics predict peer interaction among diverse children (diverse in ethnicity and home language). From their website, this description of the research:
“The researchers of this study tested a model designed to predict the peer interaction behaviors of preschool children of diverse race, ethnic, and home language backgrounds. The model itself used dimensions from the classroom, such as group size, affective climate of the classroom, teacher management, and other factors related to teacher-child relationship quality. As part of the National Evaluation of Early Head Start, eight hundred children were observed in classroom settings interacting with their peers, and the various classroom dimensions were observed as well. The researchers found that classroom dimensions had a significant impact on peer interaction behavior. For example, children in classrooms with smaller group sizes were more likely to engage in pretend play, and less likely to be a victim of peer aggression. In addition, children in these smaller classrooms were rated as less aggressive, as well as less anxious. In classrooms with lower peer climates, children were more likely to be the victim of aggressive peer behavior”.
US-based BRYCS (Building Refugee Youth and Children’s Services) shares a policy brief and list of resources related to the collaborative work being done by Head Start and the National Center for Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness in increasing access to and creating culturally competent programs for newly arrived refugee children.
A bit about BRYCS (from their website): “Since 2001, BRYCS has emphasized ‘bridging refugee and children’s services’ to promote the well-being and successful integration of refugee children and their families as our newest Americans. For many reasons—including limited funding, different legislative mandates, and cultural and linguistic barriers—refugee resettlement and “mainstream” service systems often work in isolation from each other, resulting in barriers to culturally responsive services for refugees. In past years, BRYCS has addressed these gaps by developing and implementing a collaboration model in a number of communities”.
As we near the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US, someone has come up with a colouring book for children. We Shall Never Forget: The Kids’ Book of Freedom.
The colouring book, rated PG, sells for $6.99 US, and (from the website) a portion of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to a “Bible-believing Christian organization supporting Israel and building relationships between Christians and Jews worldwide through education and practical deeds expressing God’s love and mercy”.
Also from the website: “The book was created with honesty, integrity, reverence, respect and does not shy away from the truth. In this book you will see what happens to a terrorist who orders others to bomb our peace loving wonderful nation”. Here’s a glimpse of what children will see:
From The Future of Children listserv:
Nearly a quarter of schoolchildren in the United States are immigrants or the children of immigrants. A substantial percentage of these children, especially those from Latin America, are falling behind in school and as a result, face a bleak economic future.
On April 20, The Future of Children, a joint project of Princeton University and the Brookings Institution, will host an event: Immigrant children falling behind: Implications and policy prescriptions and release the latest issue of its journal. The issue is devoted entirely to several aspects of the status and well-being of immigrant children. An accompanying policy brief proposes a set of policy recommendations that could improve their attainment, including expanding preschool programs, improved English Language Learner instruction, and congressional passage of the DREAM Act to allow undocumented students to attend college.
The event will begin with an overview of the journal and the policy brief by the editors, Marta Tienda of Princeton and Ron Haskins of Brookings. Following the overview, a panel of experts will present arguments for and against the DREAM Act and comment on how the educational achievement of immigrant children can be improved.
After the program, the speakers will take questions from the audience.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 9am -11am, The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC. Info: email@example.com or 202.797.6105.
Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth tells the story of the approximately 2 million children in the United States who are living “without legal status”, i.e., without “papers”.
These children arrive on American shores not by choice, but because their parents take them there for what they hope will be a better future. Many arrive as babies and small children and do not realize they are living precariously until they turn 18 and attempt to join the labour force, attend college or university or get a driver’s license – all of which require a social security card, an ID reserved for US citizens. These children, many who know no other country and often, language, are educated in US schools, hold US values and face a perilous future without “papers”.
My thanks to Graham Street Productions, for sending me a copy of the DVD to review.
Papers follows five undocumented youth and tells their stories with the backdrop of the DREAM Act movement. The DREAM Act, a bipartisan initiative developed by Sen. Orin Hatch [R-UT] and Sen. Richard Durbin [D-IL], is a progressive policy response to the issue – with one caveat for the use of the word ‘alien’ in the acronym DREAM – ‘Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act’. The DREAM Act would provide “qualifying undocumented youth” eligibility to enter into a conditional path to full citizenship (for example, requiring youth to complete a college degree or give two years of military service prior to applying for citizenship).
Graham Street Productions, who worked with El Grupo Juvenil (the “Papers” youth crew) produced this inspiring documentary. It opens with a montage of demonstrations, both for and against immigration. There are some beautiful moments of peaceful marching and some harsh displays of hatred. Immigration – legal and otherwise – is a hotly debated issue in the US as it is here in Canada.
The documentary includes commentary from civil rights leaders, politicians, academics and researchers. A unique parallel story links the LGBTQ movement with the immigration rights movement. One of the youth, Jorge, is both gay and undocumented. From the press release:
They realize that there is extraordinary power in their stories and in telling the truth. The boldness of it inspires us. By coming out as undocumented, they risk arrest, detention, and deportation. By coming out as queer, they risk being ostracized from their families, their churches, their cultures of origin and their communities. But in talking with these courageous young people, it is obvious that they are not going to stop being public about who they are. In some ways the most vulnerable, they are also the most brave. They, more than anyone, know the power of “coming out” and recognize that going public is the way to changes peoples’ hearts and minds.
US-based, The Foundation for Child Development: Changing Faces of America’s Children – Young Scholars Program has issued a call for proposals. The goals of the program are to (From the call as posted on the NAME listserv):
* Stimulate both basic and policy-relevant research about the early education, health and well-being of immigrant children from birth to age 10, particularly those who are living in low-income families.
* Support the career development of young investigators-from the behavioral and social sciences or in an allied professional field-to attain tenure or who have received tenure in the last four years from a college or university in the United States.
Eligible researchers will have earned their doctoral degrees within the last 15 years, and be full-time, tenure-track, faculty members of a college or university in the United States. Applicants must hold a Ph.D. or its equivalent in one of the behavioral and social sciences or in an alliedprofessional field (e.g., public policy, public health, education, social work, nursing, medicine). Three to four fellowships of up to $150,000 for use over one to three years (and in rare cases, up to five years) will be awarded competitively. Please note tenure equivalent positions are not eligible for the fellowship.
Deadline is November 3, 2010. For more information, see the web-page here. Questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The theme for the 2010 NAME (National Association for Multicultural Education) conference is “Empowering Children and Youth: Equity, Multiculturally Responsive Teaching and Achievement Gaps”. The international conference runs from Nov 4-6, 2010 in Las Vegas NV.
Deadline is April 17, 2010. For more information and to access the online submission form, see the conference website.