EL SALVADOR — A local businessman is tracing his roots in El Salvador to share his story of being an undocumented immigrant as well as the stories of others looking to come to the U.S.
Laz Ayala’s film, “Illegal the project,” is capturing the experiences of immigrants leaving Central America.
” [I’m] trying to humanize the experience, the conversation in the U.S. around immigration and undocumented immigration,” Ayala said.
Experiences like Ayala’s who, at 14, entered the U.S. as an undocumented immigrant in the trunk of a car. He eventually became a naturalized citizen now living in the Rogue Valley.
“We wanted to capture that part of my experience when I left the country 37 years ago,” he said.
They’re traveling to the Salvadoran-Guatemalan border where Ayala fled war and violence in his country. To his hometown, where he will be documenting the stories of people he meets and reuniting with close friends and family.
“…Just capture what many immigrants experience on their way North as they leave El Salvador, as they leave Central America,” he said.
The documentary crew left Medford last Friday.
They’ll be following Ayala to Tijuana later this week.
You can follow their progress on social media, @illegal.theproject on Instagram and Illegal_Project on Twitter or the website https://www.illegaltheproject.org/
Amanda Rose is a multimedia journalist for NBC5 News. Amanda graduated from Columbia University earning a Master’s degree in Journalism. She also received a Bachelor’s degree in English with a specialization in literature from the University of British Columbia.
She’s a Los Angeles native, but is thrilled to return to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and is passionate about reporting on the criminal justice system.