Online Discussion of ‘Fighting for Family’

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The following announcement is from Nikkei Progressives (http://nikkeiprogressives.org).

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Nikkei Progressives is excited to be hosting a discussion of the documentary “Fighting for Family” (www.fightingforfamilyfilm.com). Please join us on July 25, 2020 at 11 a.m. for an online discussion via Zoom on immigration and deportation, and a chance to hear from the filmmaker, Lan Nguyen.

We ask that you watch the film before our discussion on July 25. To access the film and receive the link for the Zoom discussion on Saturday, please fill out this form (https://bit.ly/NPFightforFam) by Thursday, July 23, at 10 p.m. and you will receive instructions for streaming by 11 p.m. The film is about 30 minutes.

“Fighting for Family” captures the love story between a young family who faces countless challenges, yet continues to be hopeful, resilient, and joyful. “Fighting for Family” discusses the U.S. imperialist war machine and the intergenerational harm that it inflicts, from the refugee flight to the school to prison to deportation pipeline, but also highlights the power of resilience and community resistance.

Along with the film, we are asking donations of $5-$10 to “Still Fighting for Love & to Bring Chuh Home” (https://www.gofundme.com/f/still-fighting-for-love-amp-to-bring-chuh-home), a fund to help with the legal costs to bring Chuh home. We want to emphasize that everyone will be able to access the film and Zoom link regardless of ability to donate.

Ngoc Nguyen, Samantha Solemnidad and Jason Vu (associate producer of “Fighting for Family”) were UCLA Asian American Studies Center interns with Nikkei Progressives this spring and are the lead organizers of this workshop.

Synopsis: Chuh is a refugee from the indigenous Xedang group in the central highlands of Vietnam. He arrived to the U.S. when he was 13 in 1996, and quickly fell in love with his friend’s little sister, Rex. Rex is part of the Rognao and Xedang groups and came to the U.S. when she was 5 years old. The childhood lovers eventually started a family and raised four daughters together.

Unfortunately, the couple struggled to make ends meet despite working multiple jobs. Out of desperation to provide for his family, Chuh sold ecstasy at parties here and there. Ineffective refugee resettlement practices combined with heavy policing of low-income, people-of-color neighborhoods led to Chuh’s arrest in 2013. Since Chuh never obtained his U.S. citizenship, he got his green card revoked and was sent straight to ICE detention after serving his prison sentence. He was deported in 2017.

After almost seven years of being separated by prison bars and oceans, Chuh, Rex, and their daughters plan a month-long visit to Vietnam to spend time together as a family. Chuh and Rex decide it’s finally time to get officially married, something they’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t get done due to timing and finances.

The family enjoys their wedding and the simple pleasures of enjoying time together as a family, until the visit is up and they must once again separate. Chuh readjusts to living alone in Vietnam, while Rex and their daughters mobilize to fight Chuh’s case in hopes of his return to the U.S.

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