Student to showcase movie ‘I, too, Dream American’

By Kitt Fresa, Staff reporter

The fight for undocumented students’ rights rage on with I, too, Dream American, a film by sophomore Cinema and Photography student Tomas Cortez, which will be shown for free Feb.  7th, at Epiphany Lutheran Church at 6:30pm.

The film focuses on a the current white house administration’s withdrawal of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the effect the withdrawal has had on two undocumented students, and the response from the federal government.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is an immigration policy that allows immigrants who came to the United States as children to receive a renewable two-year deferred action from deportation.


“I knew that being Mexican-American I could understand and relate to struggles that DACA students have. I knew that if I didn’t make this film, nobody that I knew was going to,” Cortez said.

Oneida Vargas, a Political Science major is one of the students featured in the film.

Vargas says she’s more on edge than ever before now that DACA has been rescinded, but still shared her story to educate people as much as possible on the issue.

“I really wanted to humanize it. I wanted people to see how it’s affecting people in the community and the people that they go to school with,” Vargas said. “I want to share my story with them, even though I was a little nervous to do it I think it was very beneficial.”

Vargas was born in Mexico and brought to the United States by her parents when she was one year old. This year marks Vargas’s 20th year living in the United States.

Giovanni Galindo, a Cinema and Photography major, the other student featured in the film, said he was happy to help out with the film.

Galindo said it was good to know the film may educate the local community about DACA students in area.


Galindo’s father originally came to the United States on his own to work and bring more money back home.However after seeing the possibility for a better life for his two sons, Galindo’s father brought the rest of the family with him.

Giovanni said he was six when he moved to the United States. This year marks Galindo’s 15th year living in the United States.

“I hope people get the idea that people like me and so many others, while we still have our culture from where we came from a lot of us have been raised here in America. At the end of the day we’re american citizens, this is our home, this is all we know,” Galindo said.

Vargas hopes that this film shows people the importance to always be informed on social issues. She said she thinks in one way or another everyone can have ignorant views from being uninformed or misinformed.

“I think immigration is one of those things that people always form their opinion about without actually meeting immigrants or people who are actually affected by this,” Vargas said.

Cortez said he did most of the heavy lifting for this film but he received help from his teacher Angela Aguayo, fellow students, Hispanic student council, the Latino Cultural Association, and the Southern Illinois Immigrants Rights Project.

Cortez said the feedback he’s gotten so far from the film has been mostly been positive.

“It’s definitely worth it, I already had one negative Facebook comment which was fun to play around with,” Cortez said. “I’d rather make this film and get a million hate comments on it then not make this film at all.”

Staff writer Kitt Fresa can be reached at [email protected] 

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