Ground-Breaking Documentary – Viviendo En Las Sombras

Posted on June 20, 2007. Filed under: Celebrities & Entertainment, News & Politics |

“Discovery en Español, the leading provider of high-quality, real-world Spanish-language programming, will premiere an original ground-breaking production – VIVIENDO EN LAS SOMBRAS – that puts the immigration debate under the magnifying glass at a time when the issue is front and center. This compelling documentary brings the debate to life, like never before, through the real-life profiles of illegal immigrants as they struggle to raise their children, earn a living and dream of a better future. VIVIENDO EN LAS SOMBRAS will premiere on Discovery en Español on Sunday, June 24 at 9:00PM ET/PT).As millions await Congress’ decision on the current immigration bill, Discovery en Español took its cameras to where few have been or have been welcomed, to bring viewers into the homes and daily lives of those most affected by the debate. Here are just some of the stories you can expect:– Doris Aguirre emigrated from Honduras seven years ago. She left behind a 10 year old daughter, and walked for a month carrying her five month old baby in her arms. In Brownsville, she was detained after crossing, and release with an order to appear before an immigration judge, something she never did. In Chicago she worked in a factory, where she met her current husband. They got married, had a daughter and while her husband tried to legalize her status, it has not been possible.

Now, even married to an American citizen, she cannot normalize her status without having to leave the country and stay out for at least 5 years.

– Oscar left Mexico 7 years ago with no money, but an enormous drive to succeed. Today, he has 30 construction workers under his command, and his crew was responsible for building the tallest building in the city he now calls home. Oscar works from sun up to sun down. He proudly pays his taxes using a personal tax identification number requested by him from the INS so the can report his income. He dreams of the day when he can finally come out of the shadows.

– Elvira Arellanos came to this country 10 years ago, escaping the poverty of her native Mexico. In Chicago, she had a baby, Saulito, and began working at the O’Hare airport as a security agent, using a fake social security. But after a raid by ICE, she landed in jail. Right before she was about to be deported, she ask for sanctuary in a church, challenging immigration to come and drag her out by force. Elvira and Saul had become the face of a movement that seeks to stop the deportations of illegal aliens that have children that are American citizens. The pastor of the church maintains that he fears God more than Homeland Security.

This documentary has one very salient characteristic, all the undocumented aliens that are profiled insisted on showing their faces. Only their names and the name of the cities where they reside were altered. They wanted their stories to be known, their voices to be heard. Indeed, the main objective to VIVIENDO EN LAS SOMBRAS was to capture the feel of a nation that lives underground, but that is proud, wishes to be out of the shadows, and asks for a chance to belong.

VIVIENDO EN LAS SOMBRAS also touches on the current immigration bill being debated in Congress and presents the opinions of those on both sides of the issue, including politicians, immigration lawyers, and community leaders. Participants include: Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart; Dan Stein, President of FAIR; Jonathan Encarnacion, Director of Centro Hispano Daniel Torres; Lou Barletta, Mayor of Hazleton; Tom MacMahon, Mayor of Reading; Darlene Kattan, Director of the Louisiana Chamber of Commerce; Victoria Hernandez, Director of Gubernatorial Affairs at MDCC; and prominent national activists Nora Sandigo, Jose Oviedo, and Jose Lagos, among others.

By combining dramatic first-person accounts about what it’s like to live in the shadows as an undocumented worker with revealing interviews with community leaders and legislators who are at the center of the debate, VIVIENDO EN LAS SOMBRAS provides a compelling examination of the national discourse.

“Discovery en Español is committed to providing thought-provoking programming that speaks to the issues that matter most to U.S. Hispanics,” said Bilai Joa Silar, Director of Programming and Production for Discovery en Español. “Through a lively and stimulating presentation that showcases the human element yet also touches on the political realities, VIVIENDO EN LAS SOMBRAS adds a richness of perspective to this important issue”. “

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