We Are Witnesses: Becoming an American

Mon. Mar 18, 2019 at 6:30pm EDT
All Ages
All Ages
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Event Description

A powerful short film series explores what it means to be an immigrant in America today.


  • Carroll Bogert, president of The Marshall Project

  • Jenny Carchman, director

  • Zaid Nagi, Yemeni-American immigrant and organizer

  • Dani Villacis, DACA recipient

  • Lee Wang, immigration lawyer

The Marshall Project, in partnership with Newsy, goes beyond the headlines in “We Are Witnesses: Becoming an American,” a series of short films that explore what it means to be an immigrant in America today.

In twelve beautifully composed, direct-to-camera testimonies, “We Are Witnesses: Becoming an American” takes a deeper look at asylum seekers, advocates, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, the documented and the undocumented, offering a 21st-century narrative of American immigration that depicts the struggle and humanity of its participants.

A family’s father is deported to Ecuador after living in New York City for 20 years. A Russian-born lesbian flees persecution in her home country to become an American citizen. A South Korean student makes the difficult decision to live in the shadows of society after triggering the revocation of his own visa. A former acting director of ICE describes how his opinions on deportation changed after taking on the role. A Honduran-born teen swims across a river under a dark sky to make it to America.

"'We Are Witnesses: Becoming an American' offers a realistic, humanizing view of immigration in America," Neil Barsky, founder of The Marshall Project and executive producer of “We Are Witnesses: Becoming an American." "Our hope is that by letting people tell their own stories, the series will help reclaim the narrative, and remind us of the courage and patriotism of millions around the world striving to become American citizens." At this event four of these compelling interviews will be screened, followed by a panel discussion with the featured witnesses and the director, moderated by The Marshall Project’s president, Carroll Bogert.

Co-presented by The Marshall Project.

For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form one hour before the program.

Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc.) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Sara Beth Joren at sarabethjoren@nypl.org. For all other inquiries, please contact publicprograms@nypl.org.

ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing accessibility@nypl.org.

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Venue Details
Map of Venue Location.
Celeste Auditorium at South Court (1st Floor) The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10016