Three arrested and detained undocumented immigrants must navigate the system to fight impending deportation. America; I Too, stars Academy Award nominee Barkhad Abdi and features the music of Grammy winners Quetzal. Closed captioning available in Spanish, Korean, simple Chinese, Haitian-Creole, Vietnamese, and Brazilian-Portuguese.
“The film is strong, fair and badly needed. I hope that the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights continues to speak up for all of us. Silence is not an option.”
Young muralist Manny Santiago is arrested after being wrongfully accused of tagging his very own mural. After being unduly locked up in a holding cell overnight he learns that he was ordered removed back in 2008 due to his undocumented immigration status and that his name came up in the “gang database.” Manny insists that he was nine years old in 2008, unaware of any pending deportation, and certainly not a part of any gang. When he refuses to sign a voluntary departure Manny is sent into detention.
Meanwhile Korean elder Myeong Kim is just starting her shift at the garment factory, the same factory where young pizza delivery guy Ahmed Omar has arrived to deliver a pizza. Both discover in horror, however, that they have walked into a setup for an immigration raid. The two bewildered and undocumented immigrants are sent to the same detention center as Manny.
Manny, Myeong and Ahmed each go on to make three distinctly different journeys to stave off deportation and stay in the country. While wrestling with criminalization, humiliation and limited resources, Manny, Myeong and Ahmed each dig for their unique option for legal relief, and for the courage to fight for it. “America; I Too” is based on actual testimonies and true experiences.
"Based upon the testimonies of those who have navigated through the treacherous maze that is the U.S. immigration system, this provocative short film provides a glimpse into not only the power that the state and its agents have over people's lives but also the power of community. Both devastating and inspiring, it is an indispensable educational tool for anyone seeking to understand what is perhaps the most hotly debated issue of our time."
“This film is right in the middle of the conversation right now internationally; it felt like a feature film to me.”
"Powerful, heart wrenching, and with a story that brings together the struggles of all sorts of immigrants; what a call to action."
“America; I Too expands awareness of the diversity of people affected by immigration issues. This film depicts who “America” is and the global concerns around who immigrants are and who is deportable will open many eyes."
“We need to help each other just as we all need help at one time or another. I wanted to do this project because while this information might be helpful to some people, someday I may need help too.”
"A fantastic tool for teaching about how to stand up for immigrants' rights--both for those directly affected as well as for their allies. "America; I too" could not be more timely."