An Insight on the Immigrant Experience

Diego Luna

Diego Luna is a Mexican actor, producer and director. Both of his parents were passionate about the arts and film industry. His mother, Fiona Alexander, was a British costume designer who died in a car accident when Luna was just two years old.

Luna’s father, Alejandro, guided him through his youth and emphasized the importance of expressing his creativity through the arts. The tragedy served as an inspiration for Luna to get to where he is today.

Luna is known for his critically acclaimed work, particularly in documentary film and short film collaborations. One of his short films touched on the tough journey immigrants face while partnering with Jarritos, a Mexican soft drink brand widely used in countries all over the world. The image on the right shows where Jarritos distributes.

In 1988, Jarritos began exporting their products to the United States, and shortly after the brand became one of the top-selling Mexican products in the nation.

The two-minute clip below reiterates the phrase, “This journey is not new, and it’s not mine alone.” Scenes follow showing the diverse group of people that migrate to the United States.

The narrator continues: “It’s a journey of millions, who just like me, are hoping for more.” The video clearly aims to portray immigrants in a positive light to viewers by showing the struggles many of them face during their journey –and it doesn’t stop there.

Leaving the place they once called home comes with a great deal of emotional stress during transit, not to mention the everyday struggles they may face in their new environment. This can be quite similar to the TCK experience, and a number of immigrants identify as TCKs, CCKs, and so on. Feelings of unresolved grief, confusion, losing a sense of self, and forming a new community (or lack of) can all be traced back to the journey of an immigrant.

David Pinto was born in a small town in Mexico. His family traveled to the United States when he was a young boy, for similar reasons exemplified in the short film. He mentions the hardships his parents faced for years: “My memories of our transition are difficult to think about. I knew my parents were scared, but it was a risk they knew we had to take. Their courage proved to be worth the journey.”

The company has a website dedicated to immigrant stories and has an additional section to encourage others to tell their stories too. Read about immigrants like Pinto here.

This two-minute clip is a condensed visual representation of a humane side regarding the issue of immigration. Although this particular clip is produced by a Mexican public figure, he makes the effort to include the journey of not only Mexicans but people migrating from other countries too. The argument here is to explain why foreigners seek refuge in the U.S.A. and what they bring with them — skills, stories, and many traces of their culture to add to the melting pot that makes up the United States. The overarching theme of this clip aims to spread awareness of diversity and emphasizes the value it adds to our culture as a nation.

Here are some related questions to ponder:

  • Is immigration (legal or illegal) damaging the U.S. economy?
  • Are taxes regulated fairly? How? 
  • What happens to undocumented immigrants who commit crimes outside of their passport country?
  • Does law enforcement fairly execute situations related to immigration? 
  • Are mass deportations and effective and logical method to posing a solution to immigration?
  • When should citizenship be granted and how consistent are citizenship standards?

Click here for more questions and possible solutions.

The video ends with a powerful message: “To the immigrants that make us great, we thank you.” Although tensions are high for everyone in times of uncertainty, it is important to approach these issues with a curious mind. Ask questions. Open up discussions with family, friends, and even coworkers. Ask more questions. Stay updated on the latest news on immigration.

The lessons learned from crossing cultures and adapting to a new culture are lessons that only time and experience can teach, but these habits are a start to understanding and resolving the overwhelming disputes related to immigration in the U.S.A. and around the world.

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