A work in progress for Tertulia Pictures. 


The Arvizus live on the border between El Paso, Texas and Juárez, Mexico. They are one of more than three million mixed-status families in the United States, households in which at least one family member resides in the U.S. legally while others are undocumented. Margarita and Mandis Arvizu came to the U.S. illegally in 1997 from Juárez, at a time when the city had one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Now, over 20 years later, their family reckons daily with the effects of U.S. immigration policy. Mandis was deported back to Mexico in 2012. Margarita, undocumented, lives in the shadows, struggling to support her family as a single mother. The two eldest Arvizu children, Daisy and Armando, were both brought to the U.S. before the age of two and have protected status through DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), a program that currently stands in limbo. The youngest, Adaiah, is a natural-born U.S. citizen who would be separated from his mother and siblings if they were deported.


They are only able to see their father together as a family during the Hugs Not Walls events, in which families from both sides are permitted by border control to touch hands, talk, and kiss for five minutes through the fence separating Mexico and the United States.


Margarita Arvizu, Mother

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Armando Arvizu, Brother

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Daisy Arvizu, Sister

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Adaiah Arvizu, Younger Brother

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