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Immediately after this gathering, we received the following message: "Jill and Jason, that was amazing. An experience like none other that I've ever had. Thank you so much for inviting me/us to be a part of your work!" -- Garret Savage, Producer
Every night at 6pm, detained immigrants are legally released from an ICE facility onto unfriendly, industrial streets. Most of the men and women are asylum-seekers. They have little idea where they are and have nothing more than the clothes on their backs. Welcome Strangers is a short documentary that tells the story of Sarah Jackson, a young woman who searches the streets for these immigrants and invites them into her home. She is assisted by Oliver, the lead host, who left separatist violence in West Cameroon in hopes of bringing his family a better life, and over a thousand volunteers as they provide hospitality
and help to reunite the guests with their families.
The United States operates the world’s largest immigration detention system. Each day there are more than 52,000 men and women, on average, held in over 200 detention centers. Those who are able to secure legal release are sent out into unfamiliar cities with little to no money, may not speak English and aren’t sure how to reunite with their families or friends. The government provides no support for any of this. So private citizens like Sarah and the Casa de Paz volunteers must step in to bridge the gap. In eight years they have hosted over 3,000 guests from more than 73 countries. Welcome Strangers portrays the human impacts of our immigration system with sensitivity and shows how the efforts of compassionate and dedicated volunteers, inspired by Sarah’s message of treating others as you would like to be
treated, are easing the legal immigrant transition.
Telluride Mountainfilm, Women in Film Award | Palm Springs Shortfest, Local Jury Award | Compassion Film Festival, People’s Choice Award Compassionate Service | March on Washington Film Festival, Special Mention, Emerging Documentary | Pittsburgh Shorts Festival, Honorable Mention
Joining us on January 27 was producer Garret Savage. We were thrilled to welcome back Sarah Jackson as well!
If you missed Sarah Jackson's presentation with us from September 9 or would like to watch it again: What If I Said Yes? The House That Love Built