One Immigrant's Life Or Death Journey To The American Dream
coming to a film festival near you!
Illegal - One Immigrant's Life Or Death Journey To The American Dream
From “Dreamer” to living the American dream, ILLEGAL is a feature-length documentary chronicling the miraculous journey of Salvadoran immigrant Lazaro “Laz” Ayala, the challenges of present-day immigration, and his mission to humanize immigrants and reform U.S. immigration policy for the benefit of all.
Immigration is a hot topic these days and Laz feels that the discussion has morphed into one of race — criminalizing and dehumanizing people in the process. He hopes to change the current narrative around undocumented immigration and influence legislation that is beneficial for immigrants, employers, and the U.S.
As the producer of his first feature-length film, Illegal, Laz hopes to bridge the gap between the current story the American media portrays of undocumented immigrants and the real stories of so many who make the long and dangerous journey in search of a better life.
Laz and the rest of the ILLEGAL team created this film to help recognize those who have been silenced. Those who are afraid to speak out given the violence and hateful rhetoric being portrayed through the media today.
Faces of immigrants we interviewed throughout the making of this film
"It is our hope that ILLEGAL will help to separate the facts and myths surrounding immigration in the US and portray the truth: that like the rest of the population, not all immigrants are rapists, murderers, and tax cheats. They are your neighbors, the people growing your food, building your homes, starting businesses, and giving back to their communities here and abroad."
WHO IS THIS FILM FOR?
The purpose of this film is to educate the public and to humanize and empower immigrants to speak up with their stories. Through these efforts, we hope to encourage immigrants and non-immigrants alike to get involved and demand common-sense legislation.
This film is not for us. This film is for every immigrant living in this country, both legally and undocumented and those who support them. It's for those whose absolute last resort is to make a treacherous 3,000-mile journey to the United States in search of a better life for them and their children. It’s for the 7.6 million undocumented workers who account for 5% of the civilian labor force and are being exploited by our current system.
We have a system that lures people in with employment, and once here, they are trapped. We compare it to modern-day slavery. It’s time we demand common-sense legislation to end this immoral and inhumane system of exploitation. Thank you to the individuals and families along the border that shared their heartbreaking stories and to the dozens of people whose voices are shared throughout the film.
Many undocumented immigrants are afraid to speak out given the negative rhetoric around immigrants and the violent climate we find our country today. It is our hope that this film will serve as a catalyst to recognize the 11.3 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. - many of whom have been silenced.
As Arundhati Roy eloquently puts it “There's really no such thing as the 'voiceless'. There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard". We believe now is the time for true immigrant stories to be heard!
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The film will be released at Independent Film Festivals around the world starting in April 2020. Follow along to know when it reaches a festival near you!
If you're interested in learning about other ways you can support, contribute, or get involved with this cause, please email us at email@example.com.