Documentary based on Kona coffee farmer's deportation premieres
A Kona coffee farmer's highly publicized deportation is the subject of a new documentary. Andres Magana Ortiz was among the first in Hawaii to fall victim under the Trump Administration's immigration crackdown.
A Kona coffee farmer's highly publicized deportation is the subject of a new documentary. Andres Magana Ortiz was among the first in Hawaii to fall under the Trump Administration's immigration crackdown.
The short film's release Tuesday comes a day before Ortiz' attorney plans to file an appeal with the Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals
Award winning actor Martin Sheen fronts the film entitled, Bring Andres Home. Ortiz couldn't win over immigration officials in July but his deportation from Hawaii to Mexico has won him legions of supporters.
The five minute piece put together by Los Angeles based media company Brave New Films dives into what life is like now that Ortiz, a husband and father of three is gone. His daughter Victoria expresses in the film that her father 'supported us both emotionally and financially, so right now we're struggling...we're struggling to keep his business alive we're struggling to just continue our daily lives without him.'
Filmmaker Robert Greenwald said Ortiz' story highlights what's wrong with America's immigration policy.
"When you've been playing by the rules, when you've been doing everything right, when you've been working hard, when you've been paying your taxes, when you've been loving and protecting and working for your family.
What it does to them, what it does to the whole family structure gives me the shakes literally," said Greenwald.
Immigration was a cornerstone of President Trump's election as he claimed previous policies left the United States vulnerable to criminals coming into the country and staying here.
According to court documents, Ortiz' only convictions were for driving under the influence and both occurred more than 14 years ago.
But Ortiz' attorney said he's no criminal. Filmmakers are hoping the film will drum up more public support, as more than 600,000 immigration cases are pending.
"There's all kinds of ways that we must as a country standup, shout loud and clear and fight for what every single one of us knows is the right thing to do," said Greenwald.
The film is available for free on YouTube. Greenwald said they are considering a sequel to the film and will monitor Ortiz' court case.