Compiled by the Student Advisory Council at the Center for Human Rights, Gender and Migration
Written by Grace Day and Lacy Broemel
Are you interested in learning more about migration, human rights, and gender issues around the globe? Members of the Student Advisory Council at the Center for Human Rights, Gender and Migration have compiled a list of books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts to share.
These compelling stories and perspectives are for anyone who wants to learn more about current human rights issues, hear the stories of migrants, or understand how policy impacts the lives of migrants in the United States and around the world. This list, organized by sub-topic, includes documentaries, memoirs, comedy, poetry, journalism, and policy discussions.
Items on this list were chosen by students from a variety of academic disciplines, including social work, public health, law, and literature. These were valuable tools for expanding their understanding of asylum, border policy, immigrant experiences in the U.S. (documented and undocumented), global migration, human rights, and gender. They believe that education can be a first step to engaging in policy and practice that can improve responses to human rights abuses.
Happy reading, watching, and listening!
Asylum seekers and Refugees in the U.S.
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya
In this memoir, Wamariva tells of her journey fleeing Rwanda in 1994, moving to surrounding countries, her experiences in refugee camps and her eventual resettlement in the United States.
The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You by Dina Nayeri
Nayeri tells her story of being a refugee after fleeing Iran, alongside other stories of refugees and asylum seekers, unearthing the nuances and complicated truths attached to these experiences.
John Oliver looks at the Trump administration’s asylum policies and the consequences for asylum seekers at the border and beyond.
Patriot Act with Hassan Minhaj (Netflix-Season 1: “Immigration Enforcement” episode 6 and Season 5: “Trump’s Worst Policy: Killing Asylum” episode 2)
Through political comedy, Minhaj looks at the immigration policies of the Trump administration. Episode 6 (Season 1) focuses on I.C.E. and immigration enforcement, and episode 2 (Season 5) examines the destruction of the U.S. asylum system.
Hometown is produced by the Episcopal Migration Ministries and focuses on refugee resettlement. The podcast covers the histories of refugees’ home countries, interviews with resettled refugees, and updates on changing U.S. refugee policy.
Immigrant Experiences in the U.S.
Borderless Magazine NFP is produced by a nonprofit news outlet that has a mission to humanize stories of immigration (produced in English and Spanish).
A one season comedy series focused on a former New York City councilman who is hired to help a group of immigrants as they attempt to gain citizenship. A comedic look at the frustration and complications that arise from the immigration system.
A comedy-drama written and directed by Lee Isaac Chung, this semi-autobiographical film follows a Korean-American family as they move to an Arkansas farm. Amidst the challenges of this new life in the strange and rugged Ozarks, they discover the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.
This weekly podcast hosts a large variety of guests who come from diverse immigrant experiences to share their perspectives on current issues.
Host Alex Aleinikoff discusses immigration-related issues and policies with his guests.
Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernández Castillo
This memoir tells the story of Hernández Castillo’s family’s journey from Mexico to the United States and their interactions with the U.S. immigration system while being undocumented.
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
Vargas shares his story of living undocumented in the United States and the complicated identity that emerged for him after learning of his immigration status at age 16. Vargas’s story is also the center of a documentary mentioned in the watch section of this subtopic.
Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien by Alan Pelaez Lopez
This collection is a book of poems centered on being undocumented in the United States, using creative forms that include collages, photos, immigration documents, and emails.
This is a documentary about Jose Antonio Vargas’ life as an undocumented person in the United States who is also a Pulitzer prize winning journalist for the Washington Post.
This eight-part documentary series focuses on different immigrant groups and their statuses in the United States.
Karla Cornejo Villavicencio shares her experiences of being undocumented and a DACA recipient. She explains her refusal to be representative of the American Dream and instead chooses to tell the broader stories of undocumented immigrants.