Just in time for the Fourth of July weekend, Lin-Manuel Miranda has dropped a powerful video for The Hamilton Mixtape version of “Immigrants (We Get The Job Done).”
The song takes elements of the Broadway original and adds verses from rappers K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Residente, and, last but not least, Riz Ahmed, aka Riz MC.
The video pays tribute to the work of immigrants and their diversity. As the camera moves through a series of narrow rooms, corridors, and trains, you see people of ages, ethnic backgrounds, and occupations. A doctor, a butcher, a construction worker, and a room full of immigrants literally stitching together the American flag all feature.
The video opens with a room full of migrants leaning in and listening to a newscast on the radio. “Who’s going to say that the borders are secure?” An announcer asks.
“We’ve got the House and the Senate debating this issue,” the broadcast continues, “and it’s really astonishing that in a country founded by immigrants, ‘immigrant’ has somehow become a bad word.”
The track itself offers contributions from a diverse cast of immigrants: K’Naan is Somali Canadian; Snow tha Product, who raps with the American flag as her product, is Mexican American. British Pakistani rapper/actor Ahmed lays down his verse in a New York subway car, while the Puerto Rican Residente delivers his closing verse alongside huddled immigrants atop a train car.
Not surprisingly, movement is a theme in the video. The people are in constant motion, moving from one passageway and train car to the next, breaking through walls and crossing through fences.
But while the video looks grim and stark, the message is triumphant and unabashedly patriotic: “Look how far I’ve come, look how far I’ve come. Immigrants, we get the job done.”