“I wish to only worry about the things girls worry about at my age,” says Ashley Solis in a new trailer for “Fruits of Labor.” The SXSW doc sees the second-generation Mexican-American teenager struggling to balance the demands of school, work, and home. Her mother works seven days a week, leaving Ashley in charge of supervising her siblings.
Ashley’s mom is undocumented and determined that her daughter graduate high school and get a better job than she has. The last thing she wants is for Ashley to become “yet another frustrated woman,” she emphasizes.
“I’m a Latinx filmmaker long dedicated to the struggle of farmworkers in the town where Ashley, protagonist and co-writer, lives. After 2016, I noticed an uptick in ICE raids in Ashley’s community and saw a marked increase in United States-born children working in agricultural fields and factories, replacing their undocumented parents,” director Emily Cohen Ibáñez told us. “Stories of mixed-status families living under the daily terror of ICE is largely ignored in news media. When the news covers current immigration issues, it tends to focus on the geographic location of the U.S.-Mexico border and the detainment of asylum seekers. Less often, we learn about how the border exists in physically distant places but nonetheless terrorized by ICE and the constant threat of family separation.”
“Fruits of Labor” will make its broadcast premiere on PBS’ “POV” October 4.