What: Screening of the documentary “Why We Come,” followed by a discussion
When: 3 p.m. Sunday
Where: International House, 10 College Park, Davis
Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso will be a special guest when the Yolo Interfaith Immigration Project presents a screening of the documentary film “Why We Come” at 3 p.m. Sunday at International House, 10 College Park in Davis.
The recently premiered film explores the lives of immigrants —mostly from Latin American — living in the Canal District in the Marin County community of San Rafael, about an hour southwest of Davis.
“This is a film that really sets forth what it’s like,” said Alison Pease, president of the Yolo Interfaith Immigration Project’s board of directors. “The film focuses on several people who talk about why they left their homes to endure the arduous journey to the United States, and the courage of these ordinary people as they take great risks seeking a better life for their families, especially for their children.
“These people aren’t necessarily migrant laborers; they do jobs like housekeeping, caring for the sick, working in restaurants,” Pease said. “Our economy in California is based on their labor. It’s good for us to listen to them talk about the decision that they made, to leave their family and come hear to try and make money to send back.
“Most of the people who talk in the film are sending money so their kids can get a good education in their own country.”
Pease said that while the political discussion over immigration issues “has gotten quite ugly” in some parts of the country, “it is really good to put a human face and give a human voice to the people who come here without documents.
“It’s important to see them as people, and see their point of view. We need to look at immigrants as human beings, apart from the political view that we have about government policy.”
In addition to Reynoso, who served on the law school faculty at UC Davis for many years, the guests also will include Jorge Echoa, a young man who grew up in Esparto and is a graduate of UCLA; Eliana Kaimowitz, an immigration lawyer; and Caroline Dutton, one of the people who was involved in making the film.
“We’re hoping for a good discussion during the reception after we all see the film,” Pease said.
Donations will be accepted at the door, with proceeds benefiting the Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network’s local programs. Organizations supporting the film screening include California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Davis Religious Community for Sanctuary, El Concilio of Yolo County, Folklórico Latino de Woodland, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church Outreach Commission, Silvina’s Basket in Woodland, UC Davis Immigration Clinic, UC Davis Youth Empowerment Program, Woodland Coalition for Youth, Woodland Presbyterian Church and the Yolo Family Resource Center.
The Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network is an interfaith network serving and advocating or immigrants in Yolo County. Members of the group come from various faith groups in Davis and in Woodland.
The network’s ongoing activities include programs at the Madison Migrant Center and Yolo County Juvenile Hall.