Film on undocumented youth screened at RIC

On Nov. 16, RIC students, faculty and members of the community attended a screening of the documentary film “Papers: Stories of Undocumented Youth.”

From left: R.I.State Sen. Juan M. Pichardo; Marta Martinez of Coalition of Advocates for
Student Opportunities (CASO); Holly Dygert, RIC assistant professor, Anthropology; Andrés
Ramirez, RIC assistant professor, Educational Studies; and Roberto Gonzalez of the International
Institute and CASO.
The film documents the plight of the approximately two million youth who have been raised in the United States without “papers.” These are students who were raised in the United States and educated in American schools. In short, this is their home.

Nonetheless, they encounter extreme barriers when they finish high school – barriers to employment, universities and sources of funding, among others. “Papers” documents these struggles.

An estimated 80 people attended the screening, which was sponsored by the departments of Anthropology and Educational Studies at RIC, and by the Coalition of Advocates for Student Opportunities (CASO).

CASO is showing the film throughout the region to raise awareness of the plight of undocumented students in Rhode Island, and to raise funds for a scholarship for undocumented youth in honor of the late Tam Tran, Brown University student and immigration reform activist who was killed in a car accident last May.

After the viewing, RIC graduate Roberto Gonzalez ’75, MA ’78, an attorney who is also a member of CASO, answered questions about the legal issues that undocumented youth face. In addition, state Sen. Juan Pichardo ’07 of Providence’s District 2 described his as yet unsuccessful efforts to pass legislation that would provide undocumented youth who graduate from Rhode Island high schools with in-state tuition.