Film Sheds New Light on Undocumented Immigrants
Social activists in the Triad hope a new documentary will reduce the negative stigmas placed on undocumented immigrants.
Sunday, June 8, in Winston-Salem, Anthony’s Plot Community and several other community groups will host the film, Documented. It profiles Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas. In 2011, he revealed in a New York Times article he is undocumented.
Moravian pastor Russ May is also the director of Anthony’s Plot. According to 2010 state figures, May says undocumented individuals make a significant impact on North Carolina’s economy. "They pay $253 million in state and local taxes," he says. "They have a purchasing power of more than $14 billion and they comprise more than 5 percent of our workforce." May notes undocumented workers in Forsyth County are from around the world including; Mexico, the Philippines, Northern Africa, and Central America. He also explains why having this type of diversity in a neighborhood is important. "It doesn't make us safer to push those who are coming here for work, family, education into the shadows," says May. "It would be a much less anxious place if we knew each person was safe and stable here (North Carolina) so they can grow their family and grow in relationship with others."
The film will air at Hanesbrands Theatre in downtown Winston-Salem at 3:00 p.m. Donations are requested. Afterwards, there will be a public discussion on how communities can get involved in statewide grassroots efforts focused on immigration reform.