Congress Honors Oregon-Produced Documentary Film, "Papers"



“Papers” is a feature length documentary film about undocumented youth and the challenges they face as they turn 18 without legal status. “Papers” puts a human face on the challenges faced by two million undocumented youth in this country and provides historical context for the complex issues around immigration.

There are approximately 2 million undocumented children who were born outside the U.S. and raised in this country. These are young people who were educated in American schools, hold American values, know only the U.S. as home and who, upon high school graduation, find the door to their future slammed shut.

65,000 undocumented students graduate every year from high school without “papers.” It is against the law to work or drive. It is difficult, if not impossible in some states, to attend college. Currently, there is no path to citizenship for these young people.

Oregon-based Graham Street Productions produced this film in association with El Grupo Juvenil (the “Papers” Youth Crew). These youth producers, from Portland-area high schools and colleges, were actively involved in all aspects of the production. The Youth Crew has now grown to include over 500 students from around the country who are participating in the film’s distribution.

Papers was produced in Oregon, filmed nationwide and is screening to audiences in all 50 states this year.  The grassroots distribution has already reached over 400 audiences from Oregon to Oklahoma, Wyoming to Washington D.C., Nevada to New York.

Most recently, Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Representative Blumenauer hosted a reception on Capitol Hill to honor the film and the youth.  At this event, Congresspeople, students and education leaders shared the stories behind the DREAM Act, considered the challenges faced by our nation’s undocumented immigrant youth and discussed the solutions offered by the DREAM Act.  The DREAM Act is bi-partisan legislation that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented youth who college or serve in the military.

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