Immigration is a prevalent topic. Democracy performed, an election was won, and perhaps “a path to citizenship” will be less euphemism and more reality. Demographics point to this century’s end as a moment when more U.S. citizens will trace their roots to Latin America rather than Europe. An afternoon on public transport in any major city is evidence enough of the value of your child’s Spanish classes.
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A dialog delineated by extremes, it is unsurprising that polemic has appeared in this space where the economy crosses with race and politics. Controversy and raised voices call for cold information and for years Juan González’s book Harvest of Empire has provided context to Latino culture courses and conversations about immigration.
Updated and weighing into the conversation in a new format, the book has become film. Reviewed on the east coast, and the west coast, it has also been profiled on González’s own program. The New York Times summarized the film’s narration of history and optimism about democracy by stating:
And while the abuses of American power are demonstrated and the American embrace of Latinos shown to be less than open-armed, the filmmakers retain a touching faith that most Americans won’t tolerate injustice when they know about it. This film is meant to teach them.
Immigration is a topic with an extensive past and influential future. Whether you agree with González’s depiction or not, his is a constructive voice and more of those will perhaps pull the extremes a little closer together. The film: