Documentarian talks of experiences as undocumented worker

Natalie Croze

The Washburn University chapter of the Hispanic American Leadership Organization (HALO) hosted filmmaker Jesus Nebot as he presented his film, No Turning Back, to the public.

Nebot presented Sept. 20 at the Washburn A and B Rooms in Memorial Union. The film touched on the subject of illegal immigration. Jesus Nebot explained some of the ideas behind the film at a presentation Sept. 21. Nebot believes the subject of illegal immigration is emotionally charged in America for many different reasons.

“I feel that there are a lot of myths that people believe that basically get a hold of our fears,” Nebot said. “I think that it is our fear of the unknown that creates this type of situation.”

Nebot went on to say that people tend to look at immigration from the position of legality, instead of seeing the issue from the human perspective.

“Ultimately, we look at the root cause of this issue,” Nebot said. “We are all co-creators of the circumstances that force so many people out of their homelands.”

Nebot also spoke about why this subject is important to him.

“I wouldn’t say I’m from Spain or from the U.S.” Nebot said. “I look at myself as a citizen of the world. And to that end, I am a humanitarian, and I see that immigration is a humanitarian crisis.”

Nebot was himself an undocumented worker in France during his teenage years. For a year he worked, without any documentation, in order to pursue his education.

“I have been able to have that experience and also, have had the opportunity to now, being a U.S citizen, the experience of privilege if you will, and I feel… the voice of the undocumented immigrants is just not portrayed, it’s not in the media, it’s not in the movies,” Nebot said.

Nebot believes that, as a filmmaker, he can use his skills to bring about conversation and change for better foreign policies that will aid both native U.S. citizens and immigrants alike.

Ciera Guthery, criminal justice major and the Campus Activities Board director for the event, chose this event because it is important for events to be educational.

“The fun events are definitely more favorable, but I also value education and learning more about topics that I don’t really know more about, so I thought this would be really important to be a part of and help bring the campus,” Guthery said.

Guthery hoped that those who attended were more knowledgeable about the topic afterward.

“I definitely hope that they’re more educated about illegal immigration and they kind of get rid of all the … myths about illegal immigration,” Guthery said. “Because these aren’t bad people, they are just trying to find a way to … create a life for themselves.”