Film and TV

Q&A with the Filmmakers of Arizona Immigration Debate Documentary Two Americans

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Why did you decide to make this film?

De Vivo: The targeted criminalization of undocumented immigrants is a disturbing trend in recent Arizona history. We wanted to make a film that would allow viewers to decide for themselves whether or not they agreed with this trend.

Two Americans follows the role that the MCSO, under Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has played in this trend. Sheriff Joe is arguably the state's most powerful politician and when he began to prioritize the arrest of "illegals" in 2005, the entire community felt the impact. And in the city of Phoenix, where 30% of the residents are Hispanic, the impact was economic, psychological, and very cruel.

What drew you to feature Katherine's story?

De Vivo: Katherine Figueroa embodies everything that is wrong about the practice of criminalizing of undocumented immigrants. She is an American citizen yet both her parents were put in jail and still do face deportation for having worked at a local carwash. When her parents were arrested, she took the bold step of speaking to the press that's when we took notice.

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Amanda Kehrberg
Contact: Amanda Kehrberg