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Icarus Film
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Refugees in Our Backyard
A Film by Georges Nahitchevansky & Helena Pollack Sultan
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Since the early 1980s, over two million Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans have fled countries shaken by violent civil wars and acute economic crises. One million have come to the U.S.

REFUGEES IN OUR BACKYARD focuses on the controversies created by the arrival of so many undocumented aliens into the U.S. With sections detailing the dangers of the journey north, State Department policies, and the hardships faced by those who succeed in becoming illegal aliens, REFUGEES IN OUR BACKYARD thoroughly investigates the impact of civil strife on Central America, and the enormous obstacles its people face as they attempt to escape into the United States.

"Graphic scenes of destruction and violence in Central America provide a jolting backdrop to the cautious words of the U.S. officials and the refugees' own stories in this disturbingly effective documentary."—Booklist

"The most complete and up-to-date documentary available on the current migration of Central Americans to the U.S. Specific issues examined include relevant U.S. legislation from the 1980's; the historical, socioeconomic, and political causes of the migration; the status of undocumented aliens; policing and illegal crossing of the U.S.-Mexico border; legal and humanitarian efforts to help the Central Americans; and life in detention centers... This documentary deserves consideration by college libraries building collections on immigration and U.S.- Latin American relations"—Choice

"Undoubtedly the best documentary available on the migration of Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans."—Multicultural Education

1992 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Books/Nonprint Materials
Red Ribbon Winner, 1991 American Film & Video Festival

58 minutes / color
Copyright: 1990
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Anthropology, Central America, Civil Rights, Latin America, Latino Studies, Law, Multi-Cultural Studies, North America

Related Titles:
From The Other Side: Using technology developed for the military, the flow of illegal immigration into San Diego has been stemmed. But for the desperate, there are still the dangerous deserts of Arizona, where Chantal Akerman shifts her focus.

Mayan Voices: American Lives: Contrasts the experiences of Mayan families who came to Indiantown, Florida as refugees fleeing the violence in Guatemala in the early 1980s, with the struggles of those continuing to arrive in search of better lives.

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Last Updated August 17, 2015
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