Busted Halo

Busted Halo distributed Flip videocameras to undocumented individuals and agencies and asked them to start videoblogging. We hope Busted Borders gives a personal glimpse into the humanity of these strangers in our midst.

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September 10th, 2010

In this video, Giselle interviews Brother William Becerra, of Casa del Migrante in Tijuana, a shelter for deported immigrants.  Br. William shares his thoughts and experiences about the immigration issue from the other side of the border.

In video one, Giselle discusses the incident that forced her to look at the immigration issue.

In video two, Giselle prepares for her departure to Mexico where she will reunite with her husband and continue to video blog about their life together and strive to break down stereotypes about illegal immigrants and their families.

In video three, Giselle reunites with her husband, Roberto, and interviews him about growing up in Mexico and how and why he came to live in the United States.

In video four, Giselle sets out across the country for her one woman play, The Deportee’s Wife, and shares her various thoughts and insights into immigration issues in the United States.

August 20th, 2010

In this video, Miguel talks about how his family found aid and support through positive experiences with church and social programs and how it influenced him to eventually work in a helping profession himself.

In video 2, Miguel talks about racial tension and his experiences growing up as an undocumented hispanic in a small town in the United States.

In video 1, Miguel, an immigrant from Mexico who migrated illegally with his family when he was young, speaks about how he had to hide his undocumented status from those he was closest to growing up.

August 11th, 2010

In this video, Miguel talks about racial tension and his experiences growing up as an undocumented hispanic in a small town in the United States.

In video 1, Miguel, an immigrant from Mexico who migrated illegally with his family when he was young, speaks about how he had to hide his undocumented status from those he was closest to growing up.

August 10th, 2010

The great challenge for Christian leadership is to help people go beyond fears of difference and experience diversity as God’s way of bringing about new creation, said the Rev. Virgilio P. Elizondo.

Elizondo has been recognized by Time magazine as one of the leading spiritual innovators in the U.S. for developing a Christian theology within the context of the Mexican immigrant experience.

He is professor of pastoral and Hispanic theology at the University of Notre Dame and also serves a parish in San Antonio, Texas. In 2007 he received the Community of Christ International Peace Award for his advocacy on behalf of justice and inclusion for immigrants.

Among his books are The Future Is Mestizo, Galilean Journey and The Human Quest. He earned his Ph.D. from the Institut Catholique de Paris.

The video clip is an excerpt of the following edited transcript.

Q: How does your personal background affect your interest in the mestizo theology?

My background is Mexican, but I was born in the United States. My parents were immigrants. Being Latin American is basically being a blood mixture of European and Native Americans and somewhat African. The mestizo reality is that union comes through sexual intercourse and spirituality. It produces a new child, and that child is from different ethnic groups.

In that sense, Latin America was totally different from the U.S., where race mixture was prohibited until after World War II. In Latin America, it was kind of encouraged from the beginning. What emerged was a new human group, the mestizos of Latin America. We’re a mixture.

Because in the United States mixture was looked upon in a negative way, my own pilgrimage has been to discover something positive in it, something very beautiful, and I see it as the beginning of the global humanity.

Q: What do you mean when you say that the future is mestizo?

The global community is growing. People are mixing more and more. I had a beautiful student in my

July 27th, 2010

immigration-reform-flash

I have lived my life believing in human rights, equality and the law. I am a retired deputy sheriff and have dealt with immigrants, documented and undocumented, up close and personal. I have seen them abused and I have seen them abuse the law. But, as both a Catholic and a retired law enforcement officer, I would like to put forth a perspective rarely touched upon in this debate occurring here on Busted Halo — the perspective of the law.

There is no debate on the fact that comprehensive immigration reform is necessary. The debate resides squarely in how it is to be handled. There is little doubt that undocumented persons are victims of past legal mishandling, corporate greed, bigotry and a host of other social ills. In fact, without clearly defined legal standing, immigrant workers cannot sue, seek redress or practice equal status in U.S. citizenship, making them — for lack of a better term — subject to a unique new form of slavery. There is little doubt that the project of immigration reform demands our due diligence and God’s loving grace in its resolution.

I was once called to a building site at a local “high-end” gated community — surrounded by a golf course, ocean-side view — to arbitrate an issue between the building contractor and the undocumented workers who had built the mansion on that site. There was a nice lady there who was speaking for about a dozen men who did not speak English and who had not been paid for their work. As a matter of law, I had to explain to the nice lady that the sheriff’s office does not handle “civil matters” and that the fellas would have to take the contractor to court to get their money. She smiled but there was a clear look of disappointment on her face. “We already tried that,” she replied, “And we were told they had no legal standing to sue because they are undocumented.” It was a sick feeling — not to be able to help.

July 16th, 2010

Miguel, an immigrant from Mexico who migrated illegally with his family when he was young, speaks about how he had to hide his undocumented status from those he was closest to growing up.

June 24th, 2010

In this video, Irving, a Mexican immigrant who has been living in NYC since age 4, talks about his struggles being undocumented and interviews a coworker about her thoughts on immigration.

June 17th, 2010

In this video, Siby, from Mauritania in West Africa, discusses how he was caught by the authorities when trying to travel back to Mali to visit his sick parent.

In video one, Siby talks about why he left home to come to the United States

June 10th, 2010

In this video, Giselle sets out across the country for her one woman play, The Deportee’s Wife, and shares her various thoughts and insights into immigration issues in the United States.

June 3rd, 2010

In this video, Giselle reunites with her husband, Roberto, and interviews him about growing up in Mexico and how and why he came to live in the United States.

In video one, Giselle discusses the incident that forced her to look at the immigration issue.

In video two, Giselle prepares for her departure to Mexico where she will reunite with her husband and continue to video blog about their life together and strive to break down stereotypes about illegal immigrants and their families.

May 26th, 2010

In this video, Giselle prepares for her departure to Mexico where she will reunite with her husband and continue to video blog about their life together and strive to break down stereotypes about illegal immigrants and their families.

In video one, Giselle discusses the incident that forced her to look at the immigration issue.

May 19th, 2010

In this video, Benita shares some of the skills she has acquired while trying to support herself as an undocumented worker. 

In episode one, Benita discusses her background and the difficulties she faced growing up.

In episode two, Benita describes how a routine traffic stop has turned her life upside down.

In episode three, Benita talks about the story of Esther and God’s plan.

In episode four, Benita talks about her hopes and dreams for attending law school.

May 13th, 2010

Meet Siby from Mauritania in West Africa. In this, his first video, Mirlande Jean-Louis finds out why Siby left home to come to the United States.

Stay tuned for his next installment when he’ll talk about what it has been like living undocumented.

May 4th, 2010

bborders-1year-flash

Recent passage of new legislation in Arizona has brought the divisive issue of immigration to the forefront of the national consciousness once again. This latest salvo comes on the one-year anniversary of the debut of our Busted Borders video series, in which BustedHalo.com — along with the help of a grant from the Carnegie Corporation — began covering the issue of immigration in a unique way.

Busted Borders is an attempt to use the web’s unfiltered nature to move the immigration debate away from abstractions and statistics to reveal the deeply human dimension of the issue. Instead of contributing to the glut of coverage about immigration, Busted Halo decided to feature stories by immigrants themselves about their experience. We distributed Flip video cameras to undocumented individuals and agencies across the country and asked them to start video blogging for a period of at least three months.

Over the past year we have published a total of twenty-four segments that have been viewed by thousands of visitors to BustedHalo.com. In addition, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today have taken note of the unique way Busted Halo covers the intersection of culture, politics and faith by featuring Busted Borders in their pages.

We’ve featured the lives of nine individuals thus far, specifically highlighting the stories of:

Walter, from Argentina
Prerna, from Fiji
Benita, from Mexico
Rishi, from Trinidad

Additionally we have followed American citizens Nicole, from Ohio, and Giselle, from New York, whose husbands were deported to Mexico, in their struggles to reunite with their spouses. Throughout this journey many others have shared their stories with us, including Fatoumata, from Senegal, Roxroy, from Jamaica, and Facundo, from Argentina.

The following video compilation is an overview of the segments and stories we’ve featured over the past year:

April 28th, 2010

In this episode, Benita talks about her hopes and dreams for attending law school.

In episode one, Benita discusses her background and the difficulties she faced growing up.

In episode two, Benita describes how a routine traffic stop has turned her life upside down.

In episode three, Benita talks about the story of Esther and God’s plan.

February 26th, 2010

In this episode, Benita talks about the story of Esther and God’s plan.

In episode one, Benita discusses her background and the difficulties she faced growing up.

In episode two, Benita describes how a routine traffic stop has turned her life upside down.

February 12th, 2010

In this episode, Rishi discusses his family’s move back to Trinidad.

In episode one, Rishi talked about his family’s move to Canada from Trinidad.

January 29th, 2010

Benita describes how a routine traffic stop has turned her life upside down.

In episode one, Benita discusses her background and the difficulties she faced growing up.

January 22nd, 2010

Giselle discusses the incident that forced her to look at the immigration issue.

January 14th, 2010

Jean Montrevil and his family, from whom he is currently separated while in an ICE detention facility awaiting deportation to Haiti

Jonathan Freed hasn’t eaten since New Year’s Eve. The South Florida immigrants’ rights activist is one of six people who say they will not eat until President Obama puts a stop to deportations that separate immigrants from their American families. (Download the letter to the president.)

After a few days he stopped being hungry or thinking of food, he said. Instead he is consistently queasy, and his head is a little foggy.

The hunger strikers are part of a increasingly impatient immigrant movement that wants to see a moratorium on deportations until comprehensive immigration reform is enacted by Congress.

So Freed and his companions are camping on the grounds of St. Ann’s Mission in Naranja, Florida. Naranja is a community filled with Mexican, Guatemalan and Haitian immigrants, too many of whom, Freed said, are at risk of deportation either because they are in the country illegally or because they’ve committed crimes ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) deems worthy of exile.

“In our community the amount of enforcement is ripping families apart,” he said Wednesday. Freed, who is executive director of We Count!, a immigrant rights organization, acknowledges that the hunger strike is a dramatic step — and one that could fail. But more traditional forms of protest haven’t worked, he said.

“People have marched, written letters, held rallies and vigils. We’ve done all that. The situation has become so critical we felt we had to do something dramatic,” said Freed.

So for thirteen days now Freed and five others — among them undocumented immigrants with American children — have slept in a tent on the church grounds and spent their days explaining their action to visitors, keeping each other company and praying.

“It’s a political action, but it’s also a spiritual action that you try to get God to intercede and change the hearts of those in government,” Freed said.

A senseless policy — a family suffers

That is

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