As families around the country prepare to celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, a new music video from the bilingual folk-rock group Elena & Los Fulanos reminds us that many immigrant mothers will be spending this holiday apart from their loved ones. The video for the group’s song “Amor Migrante,” features Maryland resident and CASA de Maryland member Rosario Reyes, an undocumented mother who left El Salvador 12 years ago and hasn’t been able to see her son since. The video was produced by Elena Lacayo and directed by filmmaker Ellie Walton, with support from America’s Voice Education Fund, the National Council of La Raza, the National Immigration Law Center, and We Belong Together.
Today, Rosario joined the lead singer of Elena & Los Fulanos, Elena Lacayo, Andrea Cristina Mercado of We Belong Together, and Lynn Tramonte of America’s Voice Education Fund on a press call and webinar to release the music video and discuss the stories of immigrant mothers in the United States.
Said Elena Lacayo, of Elena & Los Fulanos, “The story of ‘Amor Migrante’ is really about the irony of having to leave your kids, for their own sake. I envisioned the song highlighting the realities of every day existence for immigrants in our country. We see immigrants every day, working in kitchens, hotels, but we don’t know what they have left behind and that is what I wanted to convey in this video. Rosario is such an incredible testament to the immigrant story in our country and I am excited to be able to show the human face of the abstract policies that we forget have a profound impact on people’s lives.”
Added Rosario Reyes, who was featured in the video, “This struggle has become the focus of my life and I know it’s not just my struggle, but it’s the struggle that so many of us face. I had to leave my son behind in El Salvador to give him a better future, to give him what I thought was the American Dream. All day long I take care of other people’s children. I teach them to sing, to read, and I give them all of the love that I haven’t been able to give to my son for over a decade. The only thing I have left is the courage to keep going. Now that the Supreme Court is deciding on DAPA, I am still waiting. This struggle isn’t over. I’m fighting for my dream—the dream is that my brothers and sisters are able to get relief with DAPA, but it doesn’t end there. I dream of being able to hug my son again, but I also dream for reform that will reunite our family in this country.”
Andrea Cristina Mercado Co-Chair of We Belong Together said, “We’re fighting for DAPA to be upheld in the Supreme Court so women like Rosario don’t have the constant fear of being separated from their children. The immigrant rights movement needs to continue to fight for dignity and respect for all migrants and refugees. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, many people in the U.S. don’t realize that many mothers will be spending the holidays separated from their children or behind bars in detention centers. There are countless mothers who have risked everything to come to the U.S. and keep their children safe. Mothers come to our borders fleeing violence and requesting asylum, yet they are spending this Mother’s Day locked up. At this time when anti-immigrant hate is spreading, we need to stop and think about how the policies of our country fail to reflect our values regarding family and human dignity.”
Added Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director, America’s Voice Education Fund, “Let’s keep sharing these stories and working to reunite these families, so that Mother’s Day can be a better holiday for them next year.”
Click HERE for a recording of today’s call.