We all remember when the DREAM Act tanked a few years back, thanks to some, ahem, misguided obstructionism coming from a certain side of the aisle. But DREAMer activists kept pushing, and eventually Obama invoked the power vested in him by the majority of American voters to enact the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. Remember that? Well, in case you need to refresh your memory, the DACA executive order extended the possibility of two-year work visas and protection from deportation to many who would have qualified as a DREAMer.
That was back in 2012, and since then, almost 700,000 people have qualified for DACA, with rejected applications numbering in the low tens of thousands. That’s progress, right? That still leaves out more than half of the estimated 1.7 million Americans eligible for the program. This, of course, is understandable, considering that the undocumented amongst us are a little wary of publicly declaring their immigration status. But in reality, even those who don’t qualify for DACA run no risk if they choose to apply.
So how can activists and DACA supporters get the word out? Through Hulu’s Latino series East Los High, obviously. Wise Entertainment, the production company behind ELH, has always been on that conscious educational tip, so it only makes sense that they would want to get this crucial information out to their overwhelmingly Latino viewership – and that’s exactly what they did. In addition to tackling issues of undocumented immigration in the most recent season of East Los High head-on, Wise Entertainment has officially partnered with DREAMer activist organization United We Dream to film a special public service announcement.
“The Undocumented Truth” brings together the fictional mother-son duo of Catalina Sandino Moreno and Carlito Olivero – who also happen to be the latest additions to the East Los cast – to dramatize what is probably a pretty common conversation in undocumented households. Carlito’s character Eddie bubbles with excitement as he explains to his mother that a friend recently qualified for DACA, while Sandino Moreno’s character shows justifiable skepticism.
It plays out like any other scene from East Los High’s 48 current episodes, and it’s commendable for putting a human face on an otherwise cold-hearted policy debate. But in this case the message is clear and to the point – don’t hold off on DACA; it could change your life.