CNN aired the Jose Antonio Vargas film “Documented,” about Jose’s life as an undocumented American and our broken immigration system. Those of us who watched the doc, used Twitter to discuss the film. It was so successful it trended nationally. But controversy followed the doc’s premiere when CNN tweeted: “Do you think Jose should be deported? Answer with JOSESTAY or JOSEGO”
We spent two hours watching a film that articulates the myriad ways in which deportation is a non-starter, and now CNN wants to engage in a paradigm that they just invested two hours of air time tearing down?!#IRONY But in all fairness, it’s a provocative question and a great reality show concept.
CNN’s Social Media Manager defended the “America’s Next Top Undocumented” poll, tweeting: “It’s the question [Jose] asks presidential candidates, congressional committees…It’s central to the film.”
Jose defended CNN telling Buzzfeed “asking ‘JoseGo’ and ‘JoseStay’ is a way of asking my fellow Americans, ‘What do you want to do with me? What do you want to do with us?’
The problem with that question is that it’s a false one. Already the debate has moved away from mass deportation as a viable solution to our long term immigration challenges. We’re not going to deport 11 million people. We can’t afford it. The real questions are: What do immigrants like Jose need to do in order to be allowed to stay? Are we ready to force Congress to act?
Which brings us to…. “AMERICA’S GOT IMMIGRANTS’ special Twitter poll:” Should members of Congress that stand in the way of reform be expelled from office? Answer with ‘CONGRESS STAY’ or ‘CONGRESS GO’ with #THISISWHYWEHAVEELECTIONS!!
*Disclaimer: Alicia Menendez is a co-founder of “Define America” along with Jose Antonio Vargas, Jake Brewer and Jehmu Greene.