Documentary to Feature Stories of Undocumented Youth Posted on October 5th, 2011 by

The Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures will be sponsoring a showing of the film Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth on Thurs, Oct. 6 at 7:00 p.m. in Confer 127 on the Gustavus Adolphus College campus. The film tells the story of the 65,000 undocumented children who graduate from high school each year in the United States, and about the hardships they face without the ability to work, drive, and in many cases, attend college.

After seeing the hardships faced by model students, a discussion will be facilitated by Rev. Guttermann, Volunteer Liaison to Faith Communities from The Advocates for Human Rights.

Students enrolled in Spanish Composition with Assistant Professor Marisa Kalbermatten and Visiting Instructor Mayra Taylor planned this movie showing, as they seek to educate others about the language they are studying and about issues faced by those who speak the language. “We want to [give] them a cultural background [and expose them to] things that are part of the community,” Taylor said.

Students in the course are concerned about the struggles undocumented students face. “We complain because we have to get up in the morning for class. They don’t get to go to class. We have so much handed to us because we were born in America. They don’t get that because they weren’t born here, so they have to work harder for the same results,” Senior Psychology major Nikki Green said.

Spanish Composition students prepare posters with information about the DREAM Act.

In addition to showing examples of the hardships undocumented children face, the students hope to educate others about the DREAM Act. The act, currently in congress, would allow students who were brought to the United States when they were young the ability to attend college “Basically, it’s a legal avenue for undocumented children who were brought to this country,” Taylor said. The act has been through congress several times, being introduced most recently in May.”

The Spanish Composition students believe others need to know more about the DREAM Act. “A lot of people are misinformed about what the DREAM Act represents. It’s important for people to realize that this is our opportunity to give someone else an opportunity to reach a successful future,” first-year student Marcela Lopez said.

“I am sad that more people don’t do [anything] when they learn about this. At the same time, you feel that ‘I’m just one person, what can I do,’” Green said.

Community members will have the ability to take action and show their support for the DREAM Act by signing a letter to congress outside the Market Place on Thursday and Friday, being held in conjunction with the film.

In addition, students Irma Marquez and Annabel Landaverde will be speaking to the campus about the issues undocumented children face in Christ Chapel at 10 a.m. Friday.

If you have questions about these events, contact Kalbermatten at (507) 933-7386 or Taylor at (507) 933-7646.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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