Miami, .- The real story of two activists who infiltrated an immigrant detention center in South Florida in 2012 is the center of the film “The Infiltrators”, which is being presented this Tuesday in Miami with one of its protagonists imprisoned again.
The unexpected arrest of Argentine Claudio Rojas by immigration agents last Wednesday in Miami has revived the message of the film by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra, which premiered at the Sundance Festival in February and now arrives at the Miami International Film Festival ( MIFF).
Rojas, 53, was incarcerated at the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach (South Florida), when the “infiltrators” Viridiana Martínez and Marco Saavedra arrived in 2012 and collaborated with them in the task of detecting “abuses” that there were produced.
“Claudio is one of the few immigrants who have shown exceptional and extraordinary courage, even though they are telling him that detention is his only option, he is saying that he will fight for his freedom,” he told Efe Martínez.
The now director of Alerta Migratoria said that it is possible that the immigration authorities thought that Rojas was going to “start talking” about the premiere of the film in Miami and decided to stop him.
In an interview with Efe, the two directors and producers of the film, Rivera and Ibarra, who are also husband and wife, lamented that instead of celebrating the premiere of the film in the MIFF, Rojas is “again fighting for his freedom.”
“The Infiltrators” addresses the “eternal struggle” of undocumented immigrants and emerged from an “action” undertaken by the National Youth Alliance of Immigrants.
“It is the story of a group of young people who decided to fight against a gigantic and strong system, and they won something,” said Rivera, of Peruvian origin.
“The Infiltrators” gathers the testimonies collected by Martinez and Saavedra, who were arrested to enter the center of Pompano Beach, and also the struggle of Rojas, who in 2012 starred in a hunger strike there until his release.
“We believe that in this world nothing is gained without fighting, and in 2012, when the undocumented infiltrated, it was a time when many immigrants, especially young people, decided to fight for their rights, for their dignity,” Rivera recalled.
He stressed that the incident uncovered the lack of medical attention suffered by these immigrants, but “especially” that many of them should not have been a priority for immigration agents, since they had no criminal record.
The Government of Barack Obama (2009-2017) had instructed the migration agency (ICE) to focus on the detention and deportation of undocumented criminals.
“In 2012 that center was full of immigrants without a criminal record, like Claudio Rojas,” Rivera said.
Cristina Ibarra, of Mexican origin, explained that the film is a “hybrid” of testimonies such as Rojas’s already out of prison and dramatizations of what was happening inside the detention center, “corroborated” in addition to official data requested from the US government through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
In his view, the “tactic” of detention is “immoral” because there is no reason to arrest people who have not committed crimes, who flee their countries due to “economic and human injustices.”
In addition, he added, everything is designed so that the undocumented “do not fight” their cases.
Both directors pointed out that the culture of the Pompano Beach center, operated by the private company Geo Group, “changed a lot” after the infiltration and the work of Claudio Rojas.
They specified that the authorities began to grant more frequently the bail so that the undocumented could wait together with their families for their day in court.
However, they regretted that now Rojas is detained after seven years in which he has worked as a gardener, and supported his wife and two children.
One of them who has just given him his first grandchild.
“We did not want to be fighting this week, we wanted to be celebrating with the Rojas family the work of Claudio in the detention center, the work of Claudio in the film,” Rivera said.
At the premiere of “The Infiltrators,” at Silverspot Cinema in downtown Miami, filmmakers, pro-immigrant activists and members of the Rojas family will attend.
Meanwhile, Claudio Rojas, detained at the immigration center of Krome, in southwest Miami-Dade County, expects a T visa, which he has been processing for years and is intended, among others, for certain victims of human trafficking. people, I managed to keep him with his family in the United States.
After his arrest, during a routine appointment with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), his lawyer Sandy Pineda, his family and migrant activists have mobilized to achieve their freedom and have gone to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE),his lawyer, Sandy Pineda, his family and migrant activists have mobilized to obtain his freedom and have appealed to congressmen from South Florida to intercede for him.
Pineda told Efe that it is rare that he was arrested just the week prior to the presentation of the film in Miami.