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Out of the Shadows

Short Films
This short doc follows Julian Zatarain, who arrived to the US at age 13 and, despite being undocumented, has joined the city government of his hometown Huntington park. Directed by Andrea Porras Madero.
Show transcript
00:28
My name is Juliana.
00:30
I'm 22 years old.
00:31
I was born and raised in Sinaloa, Mexico, specifically in
00:35
the small town of El Rosario, Sinaloa.
00:39
My grandpa passed away.
00:40
It was only me and my grandma, my grandma couldn't take care
00:43
of me anymore.
00:44
And my mom was here and she offer uh you know, a place where to
00:48
live, where to stay here in the US.
00:50
And that's why I came here.
00:54
My family wouldn't be the only family.
00:56
Unfortunately, I think it's an epidemic that when you're
01:01
an immigrant, what uh usually happens that the family will
01:04
come here and they will send for their kids after they raise
01:08
the money.
01:10
What happens with that?
01:11
It's that when you bring your kid, they don't recognize you
01:14
that's exactly what happens to me.
01:15
I don't, I don't recognize my mom and I don't refer to my mama's
01:20
ma I refer to her, my mama's for her for her first name because
01:24
I don't see my mom as a mom.
01:29
Two.
01:31
Yes, I have a couple of we, my mom, I always needed to find a home
01:47
and my home has never been in my house.
01:50
It's always been outside my house now.
01:53
It's my community right now during a political campaign.
01:56
That's my home, everyone and there's my family.
01:59
I mean, I, I don't take for granted my family but a little piece
02:03
of me knows where I go to sleep.
02:05
It's not my home.
02:12
I don't know whether I consider myself an activist or not.
02:15
I just know I'm a very involved, uh, resident of my community
02:20
For me it's more I'm trying to do what I think is right on my,
02:23
my little space on my city when they told me you're gonna become
02:28
a commissioner.
02:29
I remember thinking, should I?
02:30
What a that was my biggest worry.
02:33
As I get there, I see a bunch of cameras, I see a bunch of reporters
02:38
around and here, I'm thinking what's happening, right?
02:41
Why are so many people here?
02:43
And then one of the council members talked to me and said, well
02:46
it's the first time in, in the history of the United States
02:48
an undocumented individual being a commissioner.
02:52
A lot of the times when you're in the, at a council meeting and
02:56
then you hear these negative thoughts coming out of people's
02:59
mouths, you know, people attacking you directly and attacking
03:02
your family directly.
03:03
It gets to you at some point, I'm here protesting Huntington
03:06
Park.
03:07
They shouldn't even be here, period.
03:08
So why don't you rescind this appointment in the meantime
03:11
Why aren't you respecting our law?
03:12
They're trying to impose their Mexican will on we, the people
03:16
those traditions could have been given to an American.
03:18
If you are illegal, you are illegal, you are illegal.
03:20
You do not have rights.
03:24
So I'm sitting home thinking maybe I, I should resign after
03:29
seeing so much opposition, maybe I really don't deserve to
03:33
do this.
03:34
But then when you become silent about the things that matter
03:40
is not fair for me.
03:42
It's not fair for my family and it's not fair for my people.
03:46
I mean, because this means so much for them, it means so much
03:49
for the whole community and very few having the courage to
03:53
actually step out of the shadows.
03:54
And you're telling, no, I'm a coward.
03:56
I can do it that I wasn't going to allow that to happen.
04:00
So the next meeting I went, I said, OK, they're gonna have to
04:04
arrest me because I'm not leaving until I take my oath.
04:08
By the end of the day when you go home to your family is remember
04:13
one thing tomorrow, the sun will shine and you have to go out
04:20
there and be the best person that you can because at the end
04:24
of the day, what matters is they are at home.
04:29
It's called Earth and our family is called.