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Lessons From The Immigrant Experience

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The Color Purple 2023

Diego Luna is a Mexican actor, producer and director who helped produce a short infomercial for the Jarritos company that highlights the immigrant experience.

Travelers stand in line at customs and immigration at the airport.
Travelers stand in line at customs and immigration at the airport. (Image via Envato Elements)

Luna is known for his critically acclaimed work, particularly in documentary film and short film collaborations. One of his short films made in partnership with Jarritos, a Mexican soft drink brand, touched on the tough journey immigrants face.

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 immigrants may face in their new environment.

This can be quite similar to the Third Culture Kid (TCK) experience, and a number of immigrants identify as TCKs as well as Cross-Cultural Kids (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.

Image by Ralph from Pixabay

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.

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 above clip is a condensed visual representation of a humane side regarding the issue of immigration and the immigrant experience. 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 United States and what they bring with them — skills, stories and many traces of their culture to add to the melting pot that makes up the U.S. The overarching theme of this clip aims to spread awareness of immigrant diversity and emphasizes the value it adds to U.S. culture.

Immigrants Doing Language Test
Immigrants Doing Language Test (Photo via Envato Elements)

Recent U.S. presidents have promised to take action regarding the issue of immigration, and we’re beginning to see their statements become a reality as time goes on. It’s natural to have a bias when it comes to these type of intricate global issues, but small examples like the clip above contribute to reaching audiences who might not understand or see both sides to the issue.

People in favor of the changes made by recent U.S. presidential administrations mention how the influx of immigrants may negatively affect the economy, how they may create fewer opportunities for natives in the workplace, and how they are more likely to commit crimes.

Cindy Del Hierro is an active member of the inner-city Denver, Colo., U.S.A. community and poses a middle ground: “It is more important than ever to stand together amidst our differences. We need to keep a close eye on what it means to use power for the greater good and what defines abuse of power.”

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’s 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 United States.

Immigration, relocation and study abroad. Cheerful young international students hold USA flag
Photo via Envato Elements
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