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On Red Carpet, George Clooney, Demian Bichir, and Chris Weitz Call for Immigration Reform

by Pili Tobar on 02/28/2012 at 4:31pm

demian bichir george clooneyThis past Sunday movie stars and a Hollywood director lifted up an important message for viewers as they celebrated the Oscars.  As reported by the Spanish language Associated Press, actors Demián Bichir, George Clooney, and director Chris Weitz “said on Sunday that they will keep advocating for immigration reform in the United States.”

Bichir, who was nominated for Best Actor in his role as Carlos Galindo in the movie “A Better Life”, said “I’m always looking for a just cause that deserves attention. This is one of the many social struggles in our country and it will be overcome.  Every time they invite me and I can make it, of course I will advocate (for immigration reform).”

Clooney said that although immigration reform might not become law this year because of politics, “it must be included in the President’s agenda.  We have to approach it, we have to put it in the agenda and start discussing it.  The solution isn’t to build a giant wall or to deport 11 million people.  They have to find a solution that works for everyone and for the entire country; that is just and generous.”

Weitz said, “After making [A Better Life], it’s not easy to distance yourself from the situation because once you know the life these immigrants lead it’s impossible to not get involved.  These immigrants are honest people that work hard and deserve to have representation and access to the American Dream.”

Earlier this month, director Chris Weitz unveiled his newest film series (“Is This Alabama?”) that turns the lens on Alabama’s harsh anti-immigration law, H.B. 56.  Bichir narrated one of the short videos, “An Alabama Mother Speaks”.

Read on for the full story from the Associated Press (translation by America’s Voice Education Fund):

Bichir says he will continue advocating for immigration reform
Associated Press
February 27, 2012

Demián Bichir and the director of the movie “A Better Life”, Chris Weitz said on Sunday that they will keep advocating for immigration reform in the United States. The Hollywood star George Clooney was also in favor of helping the 11 million immigrants that live in the country without a legal permit.

“I’m always looking for a just cause that deserves attention. This is one of the many social struggles in our country and it will be overcome,” said Bichir when he arrived at the Oscars – he was nominated for best actor for his role as an immigrant in “A Better Life.”

“Every time they invite me and I can make it, of course I will advocate (for immigration reform),” he added on the red carpet outside the Kodak Theatre. Bichir arrived at the gala accompanied by his mother Maricruz Nájera and his girlfriend, the Canadian model Stefanie Sherk.

They ask for legalization

During the movie award season, Bichir and Weitz have manifested their support for immigration reform. Both have met with legislators to talk about the issue and make their concerns known.

“A better life” follows the gardener Carlos Galindo, an undocumented Mexican in the United States who tries to be a good single father and an example for his teenage son.

“After making this movie, it’s not easy to distance yourself from the situation because once you know the life these immigrants lead it’s impossible to not get involved”, said the director. “These immigrants are honest people that work hard and deserve to have representation and access to the American Dream.”

American Citizen

Bichir, who is an American citizen, added that he voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 and that, despite the fact that he hasn’t kept his promise of promoting an immigration reform during his first year in office, he continues to support him.

“I think he’s the only option. We have to give him another four years,” he explained. “They know that immigration reform stayed on the table, they know that they need to bring it up. But this won’t happen if we switch power right now.”

Weitz also said that he supports Obama but he warned that Democrats shouldn’t take for granted the Latino vote.

“I’m going to campaign for Obama but it’s very important that the administration fulfills the promise they made in 2008. They can’t think that Latinos are going to vote in their favor just because it’s clear they won’t vote for Republicans. Latino voters won’t vote for them unless they see comprehensive immigration reform,” said the director.

“We might not get an immigration reform this year because of the elections. But it must be included in the President’s agenda,” said Clooney, who is a Democrat and also supports Obama.  ”We have to approach it, we have to put it in the agenda and start discussing it.”

“The solution isn’t to build a giant wall or to deport 11 million people,” he added. “They have to find a solution that works for everyone and for the entire country; that is just and generous.”

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