LatinaLista — Every year, 100,000 children travel by themselves to enter the United States illegally, across the harsh U.S.-Mexico border and at the mercy of coyotes, with one goal in mind â€” to reunite with a parent or parents.
That these children, some as young as under 10 years of age, undertake such a journey exemplifies the desperation and loneliness these children feel living without their parent. Filmmaker Anayansi Prado decided to try and capture the fear and hopes these children experience as they find their ways to their mothers and fathers in her film Children's in No Man's Land.
Children In No Manâ€™s Land is a documentary that uncovers the current plight of the 100,000 unaccompanied minors entering the United States every year. This film explores the story of Maria de Jesus (13) and her cousin Rene (12) as they attempt to cross the US/Mexico border alone to reunite with their mothers in the Midwest.
Focusing on minors crossing through the Sonora Desert area in Nogales, Arizona, this film explores every detail of these children's journey as well as the journeys of other children we meet on the way. We uncover in an intimate and personal way where they are coming from, what their journeys have been like and how they've gone about it, through to the arrival at their destination â€” their new home, The United States of America.
Though the film was released last year, it is slowly making its way across the country and in the process heightening awareness of this very real human rights issue.
To help raise the profile even higher of a tragedy that unfolds on a daily basis, the filmmakers are encouraging community screenings of the film followed by community-wide discussions. So, they are making available discussion guides and mini-grants, ranging from $100-$400, to non-profits and community organizations to help with the screenings and discussions.
The dangers these children subject themselves to simply because they want to be with their parents underscores not just how badly immigration reform is needed but also economic reforms between two countries who share a co-dependence that is proving to be the strongest tie of all.
If you would like to apply for a mini-grant to host a screening of Children in No Man's Land in your community or with your organization, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As immigration reform gets closer to becoming a reality, it's important to remember that these children's voices must not be forgotten.