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Paola Mendoza's picture

I remember the unrelenting hope my mother gave our family; hope from a woman who dreamt for a better life for her family. Twenty years ago, my mother Liliana immigrated came to the United States with nothing but dreams for her and for her family. But her strength and hope helped us overcome hardship. My name is Paola Mendoza and because of my mother’s dream and hard work, I grew up to realize my dream of becoming a filmmaker and an actor.

My mom’s story is the inspiration behind my new film, Entre Nos, which I’ve dedicated to her and to all mothers who dream of making a better life for their families. I am sure you know what I speak of, for the dreams of immigrant mothers are no different from the dreams of all mothers. All mothers want their children to live a better life than theirs; to give them the opportunity to fulfill their hopes and dreams.

Throughout my childhood my mother worked countless double-shifts flipping burgers and scrubbing toilets at the local fast food joint. We never talked about the cockroach-ridden apartments or the yearning to see our family back in Colombia. Instead we smiled through the grit, the tears and the heartache. As the years passed, I realized our story was not unique. Thousands of immigrant mothers, for hundreds of years, endured what we had overcome for exactly the same reason, a better life for their children.

But, as many of you know, not all immigrant mothers are able to work through the hardships to achieve success. The current state of immigration policy in the United States has created some incredibly sad and horrifying stories; sad stories like that of Elvira Arellano, who took refuge in a Chicago church for a year in hopes of keeping her family together, only to be deported to Mexico, leaving her 8-year old son Saul behind in the care of her pastor’s family. Or the horrifying story of Alma Minerva Chacon, who was forced by Maricopa county sheriff Joseph Arpaio to give birth while she was shackled to a bed. She was not even allowed to hold her baby.

This is why comprehensive immigration reform is so essential. We cannot sustain a system that champions the destruction of families. Mothers know the importance of bringing people together, of overcoming our differences in order to let love and hope triumph over challenges that threaten to break us apart and hold us back.

Through the generous support of the Moms for Family Unity campaign (and IndiePix), you can sign-up to receive Entre Nos for free by clicking here.

I hope you will watch my film and that you will share its message with your family and friends. After watching it, I hope you will help people understand the human side of the current immigration debate.

Help me thank my mom, and provide inspiration for all moms, by watching this film and getting involved in the current immigration debate.


Paola Mendoza is the co-director, co-writer & star of Entre Nos, an award-winning movie inspired by her mother's story, Mendoza and the film have partnered with Reform Immigration for America, America's Voice Education Fund, and the Center for American Progress to launch Moms for Family Unity, a national campaign to bring together women and their children to highlight the importance of keeping families together with meaningful immigration reform legislation this year.

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