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Immigrant Nation!: The Battle for the Dream

by Esau Melendez

The story of the immigrant rights movement in 2006 and 2007 and the story of single mother and activist Elvira Arellano who is fighting against her deportation.

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Immigrant Nation! is a feature documentary about the modern immigrant rights movement in 2006 and ‘07. In particular, it is the story of the struggle of Elvira Arellano, a single mother from Chicago, who fought her deportation. The film also interweaves the stories of individuals, organizations, activists and community leaders united by passion and a concern for justice for the undocumented immigrants.

quoteThe thoughtful and in-depth portrayal of activist Elvira Arellano and her experiences on both sides of the border takes the audience into the heart of the movement.
Amalia Pallares University of Illinois at Chicago, Associate Professor · Chicago, Illinois
University of Illinois at Chicago
full review

quoteThis film must be examined for its coverage of the implications of parents, but more specifically of women in the immigrant path. They are indeed workers, symbols of hope, but still subject to a patriarchal and powerful alliance of business and politics.
Julia E Curry Rodriguez, Ph.D. Professor Mexican American Studies
San José State University
full review

quoteThe documentary also highlights the potential of immigrants to leverage their growing population size into greater political power.
Connie Mixon, Director of Urban Studies and Professor of Political Science, Elmhurst College.
Elmhurst College.
full review

quoteThe film also provides an interesting look at the stake and involvement of other ethnic and cultural groups in efforts to change current immigration law.
Gary Handman, University of California Berkeley
Educational Media review online
full review

quoteImmigratant Nation takes you on a powerful journey, witnesss an ordinary woman become and a modern day heroine. If you are not crying and calling for Immigration Reform at the end of the film - you don't have a heart!
Josefina Lopez, writer of "Real Women Have Curves"

More Reviews


  • "Best Documentary" 2011 Cine Festival of San Antonio


  • "Best Documentary" 2010 Chicago Latino Film festival

  • "Award of Merit" 2010 The Indie Fest


  • "Cine Latino Award" 2010 DC Independent Film Festival

  • Official Selection - Carnegie Mellon International Film Festival


    Official Selection - Costa Rica International Film Festival

  • Official Selection - 2010 Oaxaca International Film Festival

  • Official Selection -  Show me Social Justice Film Festival

  • Official Selection  - 2010 San Francisco Latino Film Festival 

  • Official Selection - 2010 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival  

  • Official Selection - HBO New York Latino Film festival

  • Official Selection - 2010 San Diego Latino Film Festival

Resources to Download

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Students will become aware of the diverse opinions of groups and individuals on the issue of immigration law reform in the United States.

Visit the official website for Immigrant Nation!: The Battle for the Dream

Immigrant Nation!: The Battle for the Dream

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Appropriate for: Elementary School Middle School High School College/University

Special Features:

Original 90 minute & 60 mins broadcast Version