Immigration: Behind the Political Rhetoric

October 21, 2011 - 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Immigration: Behind the Political Rhetoric

Join two outspoken activists for a film showing and presentation on immigration, it’s history and effect on our country. A discussion will follow.

Fruits of Labor is a 2008 short (15 minute) documentary by Daniel Aguilera that provides a brief history of immigrant labor and captures contemporary individual voices and stories from over three generations. From the post Civil War era to the Bracero Program during WWII to a present day farm in southern New Mexico, we witness the sacrifice of sweat and tears of those who work the fields and provide services that everyday people shy away from. Immigration laws and suppressing economic conditions not only affect the undocumented but also children, family members back home, legal residents and everyday Americans. The film will be followed by a discussion of current events in Arizona and Mexico, with information regarding ALEC and how corporations are now writing the laws that undermine healthy public relations and stifle the Mexican economy which forces workers to continue their emigration north.

Daniel Aguilera is a MFA Film Candidate 2013 in the Department of Transmedia, College of Visual and Performing Arts, Syracuse University. He can be emailed at

Here in Upstate and Central New York the general public is aware that employers are increasingly dependent on immigrant workforces. We see and hear that headline regularly. We are less aware, however, of how migrant workers get jobs in New York, the function of the work they do at workplaces, and its relationship to global economic conditions.  In this presentation, David Van Arsdale unveils migrant factory work by sharing his experiences working “undercover” with migrant, mostly undocumented, Latino workers in factories in Upstate, New York and New Jersey.

David Van Arsdale is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Onondaga Community College.  He can be emailed at