Hollywood and DREAM Act activists are once again teaming up in the hopes of gaining support for undocumented youth.
Through a contest being launched by the organization The Dream is Now, which has partnered with filmmaker Davis Guggenheim, college and university students across the nation now have the opportunity to voice their views on immigration reform.
The contest is open to both documented and undocumented participants, who are invited to submit videos of their personal stories and experiences. Once all the material is collected, Guggenheim will direct and ultimately put together a documentary with different snippets of the untold stories of students who do not have legal status in the U.S.
“For some of these students, this is the first time that they have really talked about this publicly, about the stigma,” Ruben Elias Canedo Sanchez, research and mobilization coordinator for the Educational Opportunity Program at the University of California at Berkeley, told Fox News Latino.
The Dream is Now will also set up petitions in all campuses to try and get the Dream Act passed in Congress. Different version of the DREAM Act have failed in Congress.
The school that gets the most signatures will get to screen the documentary and a selected group of their students will get to travel to Washington D.C. for its official premiere.
The contest will run all through March until April 5.
Sanchez said that the campaign “is an all-inclusive effort” with the active support of other organizations. Organizations such as Rosario Dawson’s and Wilmer Valderrama’s Voto Latino are already on board.
“We are excited to partner up with organizations doing social justice work such as comprehensive immigration, LGBTQ rights, education, human rights, and beyond,” he added. “It will require all of us coming together to pass the federal Dream Act as part of the larger comprehensive immigration reform."
For Guggenheim, this project is about generating real grassroots support to fix the broken immigration system.
“I have been moved by the stories I've seen in making this movie and believe that a documentary can change politics, but it takes people on the ground to demand real change,” he said in a presser with reporters on Tuesday.
“This is a huge moment. Now it is time for all of us to come together and make sure Congress takes the right steps to fix this problem. We need to show them the urgency and by creating energy on campus, college students can play a key role.”
Sanchez, who grew up in a border town and whose mother spent 26 years trying to become legal, said that many people just need more information and education on the immigration system.
“Living in a border town made it an everyday reality,” he said. “We attempted to do everything legally. But they kept telling us [and] her it was going to take many years.”
“My mom just became a citizen two weeks ago,” he added. “Having to cross the border every day, passing medicine and food, I became very intimately involved with the cause.”