Don’t Tell Anyone

By Dan Clendenin

Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie) (2015)

What’s it like to live as one of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in America? You can’t drive without a license, get a job without a social security number, apply for financial aid, or board an airplane. Forget voting. This PBS documentary, which aired in September of 2015, tells the story of one such person, Angy Rivera (now 25). When she was three, Angy’s mother sold everything she had and moved from Colombia to New York City. They became a mixed status family: she and her mother are undocumented, while her three siblings are citizens. Angy was raised by her mother to believe that silence was the key to survival: “No le digas a nadie,” she told Angy: “Don’t tell anyone” that you are undocumented. When Angy took a page from the LGBTQ community and held a Coming Out event, her mother was terrified. After a front page article in the NYT that featured Angy, her advice column for undocumented youth (“?Ask Angy?”), a blog and a YouTube channel, Angy became both an icon and an activist for undocumented people in America. This film doesn’t suggest any legislative proposals for this complex matter, but it does put a human face on the issue. And for Christians in particular, there are some powerful precedents in our sacred scriptures: “Do not oppress the foreigners in your country, for you were once foreigners in Egypt” (Exodus 22:21). In fact, there are over a dozen scriptures that speak specifically about the Hebrew treatment of aliens: http://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Oppressing-Foreigners

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