by John Grooms
As we wrote here last week, Americas current shit storm, aka the immigration policy debate, is hitting Charlotte. County Commissioner Bill James intends to propose tonight that the Department of Social Services be ordered to hand over a detailed list of all undocumented immigrants who have applied for DSS help. Seeing that it would be completely illegal for DSS to do so, James proposal has no chance of passing. But we doubt that getting approval from the Commission was James goal in any case. His get tough on immigrants babies stance (hes opposed to undocumented workers American-born children getting Medicaids help for health care expenses) is no doubt intended as an election reminder that the GOP stands foresquare against illegal immigration. Frankly, it reminds me of the days in the South when politicians would rile up the hicks just before election day by distributing flyers decrying race mixing. Backward minds and shriveled souls love being reminded that someone is lower on the totem pole than they; and there are always politicians who are willing to roll around in that kind of slop.
If you would like the opportunity to cut through the political nastiness and learn more about immigrants situation and how it affects us all, you may want to check out Brother Towns, a film being screened across the state by the NC Council of Churches. Here is a link to the films excellent trailer. And here is some more info:
Today we hear a lot about immigration, but we don't always have the chance to hear directly from the families at the heart of the story. Brother Towns is a story of two towns linked by immigration, family, and work: Jacaltenango, a highland Maya town in Guatemala; and Jupiter, Florida, a coastal resort town where many Jacaltecos have settled.
Brother Towns chronicles a story of how and why people migrate across borders, how people make and remake their communities when they travel thousands of miles from home, and how people maintain families despite their travel. Because we are all immigrants, this is a universal human story, and a quintessentially American one. All of us understand family.
Brother Towns is also a story of local and international controversy. News of undocumented immigrants is familiar in nearly every community across the U.S., and citizens must choose how they respond to this issue.
The film will be shown Thursday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. Seventh Street. Admission is $3 per person.