Set to release on January 25, 2019, “A New America” turns the issue of immigration reform from political to personal. Jaime (Antonio Lopez-Valero) was brought to America as a young child and lives here as a Dreamer under DACA. He meets Mina (Julia Cho) during an awkward chance encounter at the restaurant where he works. Awkwardness soon gives way to a blossoming young love and as Jaime grows closer to Mina his memories of Mexico begin to fade into the background of his life. His future is in America; and Mina is his home. But, once again their lives are turned upside down by a chance encounter and suddenly the future isn’t so certain.
“A New America” is designed to give the viewer a firsthand experience of what so many immigrant families in America today are experiencing as their reality. Immigrants who have previously been protected by the DACA program, enacted by former President Barack Obama in June 2012, are now facing raids and deportations back to a country that many of them know nothing about. The entire purpose of the DACA program was to provide a path to legal citizenship for immigrants who were brought here as children and who posed no threat to national security or public safety. Additionally, DACA-eligible immigrants are able to work, attend school, pay taxes, and contribute to their local and federal economies. As of January 2018, it is estimated that DACA-eligible immigrants contribute roughly $3 billion in taxes annually to federal and their respective state governments.* With current legislation aimed at completely gutting this program many families across the nation are being torn apart.
It is difficult to imagine the pain of being put in this situation, but as we watch Jaime and Mina’s story unfold, something that may have once felt so far away suddenly hits very close to home. When faces are put to injustice the problem becomes hard to ignore. Films like “A New America” are just the beginning of inciting real change- we have so much more work to do.