Fighting for justice against police brutality on African Americans isn’t the only crisis that it’s time to address. Immigration is another one, and Carina Adly MacKenzie continues to tell this story beautifully.
It hurt to watch Liz’s (Jeanine Mason) encounter with the ICE agent, but it was hard not to feel proud of her standing up for herself, and it painted a harsh truth of what these immigrants go through.
Liz asked the ICE officer: “why do we have to be perfect to deserve to exist in some arbitrary border? Why is it okay for you to screw up but not me?” And he replies: “because I am me and you’re a waitress.”
I wanted to slap him when he called her a waitress. He assumed because she was working at her father’s diner, that was all she was like that was all she could ever be.
Liz stood up for herself and her father, but it wasn’t enough to get the agent to back off. Diego had to step in saying, the acting director of US Customs and Immigration Enforcement is a friend of the family, and so is Liz. The agent left but not before dumping two cups of coffee on the counter.
As fans, we know she’s a 1000 times better person than he is, yet he is considered higher in society. Sadly, the only thing stopping her father from becoming a citizen is because she was covering for her sister when she got charged with vandalism. He’s a small business owner, which means he’s helping the economy. And she has a Ph.D. and is doing groundbreaking scientific research, but that’s not enough.
I will admit, I know very little about these encounters with ICE. I do know about the immigration process as my parents are from England and only recently received their green cards. It’s not easy for white people to get a green card but add racism into it, and it because ten times harder.
If it weren’t for Arturo (Carlos Compean) coming to America, Liz would have never had the opportunities she had. What is wrong with that? Remember, unless you are Native American, we all came from somewhere else. And our families all came to better their futures.
Carina doesn’t just focus on the ICE encounters. We took a trip back in time to see Liz and Diego’s relationship. While it was nice to see first hand what their relationship was like, the best part was getting a picture of how Liz feels, how many Latinas probably feel.
Liz starts to cry because she wishes her younger self could know that winning a grant for research was possible and says: “This isn’t what the world teaches girls like me to dream.”
Diego asks her if she could do anything what would she do, Liz said, win a Nobel Prize, second, she would want citizenship for her dad so he wouldn’t always have to be so scared. And, she wants to be less angry. Diego said that anger isn’t so bad, it reminds us that something needs to be changed.
There is so much to unpack here. One, I’m glad Liz is finally dreaming big. The color of her skin or where she came from should not stop her from going after her dreams. And we understand more why Liz is using the alien DNA to find a cure for Kyle’s girlfriend and other illnesses. She wants to change people’s lives.
We already know she wants her dad to be a citizen, but even more, we understand that she’s made it her mission to achieve this for him.
Lastly, Diego’s statement is so powerful, especially given the last week. Liz’s anger is the reason she fights fiercely for the people she loves. I hope that one day all of her battles will be won and she can find some peace.
I hope other people who are filled with this same anger will find peace. TV is a great place to share these stories and bring awareness. Maybe if we understand what these immigrants are going through, we can find a way to help them. A change in the immigration policy would be a great start. To change some people’s minds, they have to understand the pain, and as I said before, the majority of us came from somewhere else. And stories like this is how to do it.
I hope with everything going on right now that this message doesn’t get lost because it is also vital.