DOVER, Del. — Delaware State University will premiere the Sharon Baker documentary film United We Are Dreaming, which focuses on the challenges of Dreamers in this country, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the second floor Parlor A of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center on campus.
The premiere screening is free and open to the public.
United We Are Dreaming (USA/2022)is a 52-minute documentary that looks at the life circumstances of five Dreamers, adults now 22 to 40 years of age, who were brought to the US as small children by undocumented parents. They have grown up in the US, attended K-12 schools here and have now progressed to college, military service, and, or employment.
Two of the film’s featured Dreamers attended Delaware State University through the Opportunity Scholarship – a private scholarship program specifically for high academic achieving undocumented students – and have graduated.
The term Dreamer derives from the Dream Act, bipartisan legislation originally introduced in 2001 which if passed would have provided a special pathway to citizenship for these young undocumented residents, estimated at times to be up to a million in number. The legislation has yet to pass. In 2012, President Obama created by Executive Order, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. DACA provides temporary protection from deportation, and the ability to legally work among other privileges.
As 2023 approaches, DACA recipients are dispersed in communities throughout the US where they are building careers, raising their American born children and are otherwise immersed in their communities. Many were essential workers during the COVID pandemic. But some 600,000 Dreamers (part of an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrant residents in the U.S.) remain in legal limbo, susceptible to the political inclinations of lawmakers who have yet to seriously address a dysfunctional U.S. immigration system.
Dreamer Miguel Tapia Colin speaks for the others when he says, “I think in every sense, in every sense except on paper, I think I’m an American. You know, this is the only country I know, this is the country I grew up in. This is the country that I went to school in, standing up every morning, pledging allegiance to the flag, learning the history. Obviously on paper I’m not, but I don’t think I’m less American than anybody else.”
Laura Collins, Director of the George W. Bush Institute Economic Growth Initiative offers, “I think the question we all need to ask ourselves is who gets to be American? And in my opinion, that is really looking forward to saying, how do we continue to live up to that ideal as that beacon of freedom and opportunity for people around the world? And that’s not just people fleeing violence and persecution, but people who truly believe in American ideals, even if they weren’t born here.”
Production of United We Are Dreaming began in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. The documentary features important pieces of the stories of five Dreamers with connections to Delaware. During production, two graduated from college, another had a child, and the others transitioned to graduate programs and careers. In an unanticipated event, the mother of a participating Dreamer becomes a naturalized American citizen after decades of residency and petitioning. Collectively, these segments offer a clear and compelling picture of the impact that a long-fractured immigration system is having on the lives of DACA recipients and their families…and the tenacity of human spirit that allows them to persist.
United We Are Dreaming is a Hearts and Minds Film, produced by the Delaware-based production company http://www.TELEDUCTION.com. The award-winning TELEDUCTION team specializes in the production of human-focused stories that have appeared on American Public Television, The History Channel, and others, and in prestigious Film Festivals that include Heartland and NYC Film and Television.
After the above Nov. 16 screening at DSU, there will be two subsequent public screenings at the following locations in Delaware:
Wilmington – November 30 at 7 p.m. – Penn Cinema on the Riverfront (presented by LACC)
Georgetown – November 15 at 10 a.m. – Screening for DTCC Students, “live” at Owens and “streamed” to other DTCC campuses; November 29 at 7 p.m. – Community screening at Owens.
For more information, please contact
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