When millions treat César Chávez as a hero, it is easy to twist his story to promote an agenda. Liberals are using the popularity of the Latino cultural leader, via the new “Cesar Chavez” movie, to push amnesty for immigrants.
The film, which was released March 28, almost completely ignored the debate over immigration. This didn’t stop many liberals, including the director and lead actress, from linking Chávez’s legacy to immigration reform.
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Contrary to this hype, however, Chávez opposed illegal immigration throughout much of his career as a union organizer.
Chávez reportedly demanded stricter enforcement again illegal immigration, contrasting his legacy with pro-amnesty proposals promoted by director Diego Luna and President Barack Obama.
The new “Cesar Chavez” movie follows the union leader’s efforts to organize California farm workers during the 1960s and 1970s. It focuses heavily on the five-year Delano grape strike and Chávez’s hunger strike against union violence. Immigration was mentioned only once in the entire movie, however, when a farmer advocated the use of illegal immigrants to break the union strike.
This omission did not stop many liberals from using the film and Chávez’s memory to push immigration reform. The movie’s director, Luna made the connection talking to The Wrap on March 17. “Hopefully this film can draw attention, not just to farm workers but to all of those workers that today are feeding the country, that are building this country that deserve immigration reform,” he said.
Luna is particularly impassioned over the issue of immigration. Politico reported that at the March 17, film premiere, Luna expressed shock that at the slow pace of reform. “It makes no sense and I hope it happens. I don’t see why there should even be a debate,” he said. “It’s ridiculous that it hasn’t happened.”
Actress Rosario Dawson, who plays labor activist Dolores Huerta, also promoted the liberal side of the immigration debate. The Washington Post reported on March 20, that Dawson stressed “how much reform is needed, not to mention immigration reform and the need to build on the work that he started.”
Dawson also chairs the advocacy group Voto Latino which, among other issues, promotes immigration reform and specifically amnesty. Actress America Ferrera, who plays Chávez’s wife in the movie, is also a member of Voto Latino.
Harvey Weinstein, producer of “Pulp Fiction” and “Gangs of New York,” also chimed in on the new film. Weinstein declared in a Huffington Post blog that “this movie should be required viewing for all Americans.” He admitted that “sounds dictatorial” but emphasized that Chávez’s legacy is particularly important “at a time when immigration reform is on every news channel and in every newspaper.”
President Obama even held a screening of “Cesar Chavez” at the White House on March 19. In remarks before the movie, he called Chávez “an American Hero” and said “we’ve got to keep working to fix our broken immigration system.” He promised immigration reform will “happen now, so we are going to keep on pushing.”
Chávez, however, publicly opposed illegal immigration, a stance that the media ignore. The Blaze reported that in 1979 he decried “illegal alien strikebreakers” and the lack of enforcement against illegal immigrants. In addition, the Huffington Post admitted in 2013 that Chávez used the derogatory term “wetback” when talking about these illegal strikebreakers.
Strangely, the movie portrayed the term “wetback” as a pejorative used against the Chávez family, with César consoling his son after being harassed as a “wetback.”
“Cesar Chavez” was produced by Participant Media which has also produced numerous liberal propaganda films. Participant Media is particularly famous for Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Matt Damon’s anti-fracking “Promised Land.”