“Papers”: Battling Youth in America

Audrey Martinez
The Paw Print

On February 16, the movie “Papers” was presented to the public in the Carson Auditorium by Molina and Aju. Both artists are from the San Luis Valley. They presented their poetry and hip hop, hoping to inspire the youths who currently live in the United States without legal documents.

Nearly three million students graduate from high schools in the U.S. every year. These students are given the opportunity to dream and pursue the American life. However, over sixty thousand of these students will struggle to live the American dream after graduating from high school. These battling youth were born outside of the U.S. and migrated with their parents in search of the American dream.

“Papers” uncovers the dilemma that undocumented youth are faced with after graduating. These students are educated in American schools and know the United State as their home, but they are not given the opportunity to experience the American ideal of success because they are the children of undocumented immigrants. These students are unable to pursue American life and are held back because they don’t possess legal documentation.

This film tells about the lives of students who are not given the same opportunity as their peers. Although they were brought to the U.S. years ago as children, they face barriers to higher education, are unable to work legally in the U.S., and often live in fear of detection by immigration agencies.

At the end of the film, hundreds of U.S. undocumented youths were given their papers and the opportunity to live the American dream, thanks to the DREAM Act of 2009. The DREAM Act is a proposal, which creates a future and path to citizenship for thousands of young students who were brought into the U.S. as children. Thanks to the Dream Act, undocumented young people could be eligible for a provisional path to citizenship in exchange for a completion of a college degree or military services. These undocumented youth must hold a good moral character to be eligible for residency as well as remain a resident. At the end of the process, these young adults can finally become American citizens pursuing their dreams.

The DREAM Act has not been passed again for 2010 and if the bill does not pass, it may cause America to lose an educated class of promising immigrant students who have indicated a commitment to hard work and a desire to be contributing members of our society.

This film was produced by Graham Street Productions in cooperation with Film Action Oregon and in association with El Grupo Juvenil. Molina, the young man that presented this film in the Carson Auditorium is a hip hop artist who works with the makers of the film and has produced a CD to benefit the movie “Papers.” Other youths throughout the country have expressed their desire to share their story and were actively involved in the production of the movie. They are hoping to help change the immigration policy for the undocumented youth of America.

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