Scores of politicians have made the case for immigration reform, but the effort remains stalled in Congress. Perhaps that’s because none of them have Aloe Blacc’s voice.
The soul artist cut an acoustic version of his chart-topping single “Wake Me Up” for a new video that tells the story of a day laborer’s family struggling to reunite across borders.
Featured in the video is Hareth Andrade, an immigrant activist who is fighting the deportation of her father, along with other immigrant advocates. Blacc also has immigrant roots himself; he was born in Southern California to Panamanian parents.
Filmmaker Alex Rivera directed the video in partnership with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, an advocacy group that has demonstrated against the Obama administration’s deportation policies, and the abc* Foundation. Rivera said that telling a human story could help change minds on immigration reform.
“We live in a culture that for the past few decades has been producing hateful images of immigrants,” Rivera told Fusion in an email. “We have shows like 'Border Wars' on TV every night. And so, those of us who are immigrants, who come from immigrant families, or who care about the humanity of immigrants, need to create other images. We need to tell the truth — that modern-day migrants are on a long journey to find a new home, to find power, to find freedom.”
Watch the video here:
Nuria Net contributed reporting.
Jordan Fabian is Fusion's politics editor, writing about campaigns, Congress, immigration, and more. When he's not working, you can find him at the ice rink or at home with his wife, Melissa.