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Asian Migration and Global Cities

Anne Cong-Huyen, Jonathan Young Banfill, Katherine Herrera, Samantha Ching, Natalie Yip, Thania Lucero, Randy Mai, Candice Lau, Authors

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A Better Life

A beautifully crafted story of a undocumented immigrant, single father and his son living in Los Angeles. This film seeks to portray the struggles that immigrants face when they find themselves living in the U.S. undocumented. Carlos like many immigrants migrates to the U.S. in order to give his son Luis a better life. Carlos works as a gardener for wealthy home owners, and earns very little pay. He is able to save enough money to purchase a pick up truck that becomes his mode of transportation as well as an essential part of his business. The pick up truck is used by Carlos to transport all of his gardening equipment, after his truck is stolen he finds himself in a difficult situation. Carlos decides not to seek the help of the Los Angeles police department because he fears the department will turn him into immigration once they discover that he does not posses a work permit and a drivers licence. This causes him to take manners into his own hands and recover his stolen vehicle which ultimately leads to a serious of unfortunate events. Los Angeles in this film is represented as a land of opportunity, a land where American dreams can become a reality. However, the theme of undocumented immigration and the struggles that arise from that creates a different portrayal of Los Angeles as a place where only a certain people are able to achieve the American dream. Not only does this film illustrate through Carlos' character the life of undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles, but it also gives insight into gang culture. Carlos struggles to keep Luis out of the gang culture that is found in the streets of Los Angeles. In this film the audience is able to see how colored youth are easy targets for gangs in Los Angeles. 

By: Thania lucero
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