Title: UNDOCUMENTED
Total Running Time: 19 mins 32 secs
Published March 09, 2011
The University of Texas at Austin
Social Issue Filmmaking
Professor Paul Stekler
TA: John Moore
FALL 2010

Undocumented immigrants include a large number of everyday people whose lives appear virtually indistinguishable from those of other ordinary Americans. In Texas, 1 in 10 children has an undocumented parent and the vast majority of these children are US citizens. The families of undocumented immigrants live under the constant fear of breaking up or being severely disrupted if one of the heads of the household is detained or deported. For these individuals the American dream is only a façade that could disappear at any moment.

The Ramirez family is a typical Latino family living in Austin, Texas. Both parents work, pay income and property taxes, and provide for their family. The home they own is located in a middle-class, south Austin neighborhood, only a short distance from the public schools their two daughters attend. Living in the US for over 15 years, Esther and David Ramirez are dedicated parents who wish only the best for their children and for their adopted country. The Ramirez girls, both US citizens, live typical American preteen lives, busy with school and after-school activities and already planning for college.

Arizona’s anti-immigration law SB1070 was designed to increase the arrest and deportation undocumented immigrants. A number of bills patterned after SB1070 have been introduced in the 82nd Texas Legislature. The authors of these bills often ignore the effects these laws have on ordinary middle-class families. In these times of growing anti-immigrant sentiment and legislation, the story of the Ramirez family shows us that undocumented immigrant families are active participants in our communities. They contribute to the economy and to the social fabric of our society. Comprehensive immigration reform is a better alternative to policies that concentrate strictly on interdiction and indiscriminate deportation. Without comprehensive immigration reform many immigrant families could be severely disrupted or destroyed and this could have wider effects on the Texas economy and on our society at large.

Credits:
Juan Elizondo – Co-producer, Director, Co-editor, Camera, Sound
Roger Miranda – Co-producer, Co-editor
David de Hoyos – Camera, Sound, Associate Director
Vera Magero –Production Assistance
Aaron Fine – Associate Editor, Production Assistance
Paul Stekler – Production Advisor
John Moore – Production Advisor

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