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Advocates hope new movie changes perspectives about immigration

Two dozen immigrant advocates rallied outside a Phoenix theater showing the romantic comedy “Immigration Tango.” (Cronkite News Service Photo by Joanne Ingram)

Two dozen immigrant advocates rallied outside a Phoenix theater showing the romantic comedy “Immigration Tango.” (Cronkite News Service Photo by Joanne Ingram)

For Cynthia, immigration reform would offer a chance for her son to become a citizen and have the same opportunities as others who live and work in the U.S.

“I think there has to be immigration reform for all the people that are working here,” she said.

Cynthia, who Cronkite News Service is identifying only by her first name to protect her identity, joined about 20 people Friday outside a downtown theater to rally for a movie that they said could change views about immigration.

“Immigration Tango,” which opened Friday at several theaters around the Valley and in a handful of states, is an independent romantic comedy about an immigrant couple who marry friends, an American couple, to stay in the country legally.

Although the immigrants in the film are a Colombian man and a Russian woman, the issue of immigration is all too familiar to many Arizonans, said Rafael Sanchez, a member of the El Break Organization who led the rally.

“It’s going to make people more aware about the situation of immigrants,” he said.

Elika Portnoy, who produced the film and stars as a Russian immigrant named Elena, said in a telephone interview that she was surprised by the “harsh” immigration issues in Arizona. An immigrant herself, she hopes the movie will help people better understand the sacrifices immigrants make to come to the U.S.

“They want a better life, so they are willing to work really hard to create a better life,” she said.

At the rally, participants held signs promoting immigration reform.

Mary Stephens, an Arizona State University doctoral student interested in Latin American politics, said she joined in because she’s disappointed in Arizona’s leadership. She’s eager to see change but wants the dialogue open to all.

“I think it’s important that, no matter how we enter the discourse around this, that we’re getting more and more perspectives,” she said.
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About ‘Immigration Tango’:
• Rating: R
• Genre: Comedy
• Stars: Elika Portnoy, McCaleb Burnett and Carlos Leon
• Studio: Mutressa Movies

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