my thoughts on the dream is now doc

Just finished watching The Dream Is Now documentary.

I’m thankful for the undocumented youth who allowed the cameras into their private lives and let out a piece of their souls by sharing stories and tears.

pieces of the documentary made me cry. not because of the dream is now staff narrator’s voice but because of the stories. the real human stories. From Joaquin’s suicide to Erika’s raid to Ola’s deportation. i don’t know what to do if i was in any of those situations and i’m glad these things are being talked about. because depression raids and deportations are all too real and are still happening. These are real things. real circumstances that affect us and our families. 

however, i felt like the documentary makers had their own agenda and just recruited the dreamers they needed to tell these stories. it was heavily narrated and very democratic party lovers/patriotic. i also wondered if any undocumented people were part of the process of making this documentary. not only the being filmed part, but actually directing it or providing feedback for it. 

i don’t agree with the military. this country’s wars and military have displaced so many people and is one of the main reasons people migrate. not to mention killing other human beings. the film focuses a bit on the story of a young man who wishes to join the marines. and while i respect his decision. i do not agree with it.

there is no intersections. undocumented young mothers? LGBTQ undocumented? API undocumented? black/african undocumented? nope. 

the documentary also has a message of “perfection”. that we are all great students with good grades and no criminal records. the fact is that a very small amount of undocumented youth actually make it to college and graduate.

the reality is, most of us cannot afford it, don’t make it, don’t want to attend, have other priorities, or we do make it and our grades aren’t top notch.

c'mon. i have so much on my plate that it’s hard to focus on just school/grades. and i don’t mean just other responsibilities but it’s also an internal dilemma. what will this degree be worth? will it just become a paperweight? a decoration on the wall?

the documentary made it seem like our biggest priority is to get papers and go to school/military. the perfect dream act message.

but we also deal with identity issues, depression, deportation (which continue to happen before and after deferred action and are happening right now), isolation, hate crimes, wage theft, exploitation and so so much more. 

another thing i didn’t agree with was this idea that we work hard to be accepted. model minority much? i used to believe in that while i was in high school. that i had to strive to be better. than i realized papers and diplomas don’t define my worth.

no matter how many marches, rallies and interviews you do with your american flag, you’re still at risk of being deported. not all of us consider ourselves american. it’s hard to when we are not wanted here. and that is OKAY. that love it or leave it message has got to gooo.

is wanting to come here and work or provide or runaway from something not reason enough to be left alone to live in peace?

the documentary hints at organizing efforts to stop deportations, to push for the dream act and to push for deferred action. but it doesn’t linger on that too much. which made me feel bleehhhH.

this organizing is at the center of our lives. it is what pushes us everyday. it is where we have met amazing people who have become family. it is where we have found community and strength. for those who are involved or for those who check online updates. that’s what we do everyday.and it goes farther than just social media.

also, it mentions the dream act failing in 2010 but it doesn’t highlight the fact that 5 democrats didn’t vote in favor of the dream act and left Obama in a good light while his administration has deported the most people ever. why are we scared to call democrats out on their bullcrap? there was no critical analysis about immigration reform or the dream act.

the documentary closes with a very…..lets save them….statement about how we (the american people) need to help them write the ending for their lives by signing this petition. 

let’s remember this….I don’t need anyone’s pity or sympathy. don’t feel sorry for me for being undocumented. don’t try to help me because you feel guilty of your privileges. we’ve been organizing and resisting and coming out way before documentaries, interviews and the dream act happened. 

the fact is, undocumented people have been around for years way before. and we’ve resisted.

check out the organizing efforts happening near you and get involved but don’t think speaking for someone else is okay. don’t think you’re there to be anyone’s savior. don’t think it is up to you to make my life happen for me. we’ve found ways to hustle to pay bills and to go to school if that’s where we wish to be. respect that.

this doc left me feeling sad and frustrated. but that happens with any undocumented story or video i watch. it just makes me sad that we are STILL fighting for this.

for me, it is not fighting to be accepted, at this point, it’s fighting to not be deported. hide yo kids hide yo wife!

what are YOUR thoughts on the documentary?

the undocumented documentaries don’t just stop here. i’m currently helping with one. check it out here