Criminal Justice Club continues conversation on immigration with PBS Film


Photo courtesy of RAICES

OU’s Criminal Justice Club hosted a discussion on the struggles of undocumented immigrants demonstrated in the film “The Infiltrators.” The event concluded the Immigration Film Fest and National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Oakland University’s Criminal Justice Club partnered with Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo from the Department of Modern Language on Tuesday, Oct. 19 to host a discussion on the struggles of undocumented immigrants demonstrated in the Sundance and PBS film, “The Infiltrators.”

The event was a follow-up discussion based on a previous debrief of the film hosted by Adolfo Campoy-Cubillo and Angie Freeman, coordinator for diversity and inclusion at OUWB, on Wednesday, Oct. 13. The pair collaborated on the event as a way to conclude the Immigration Film Fest held at OU and National Hispanic Heritage Month. The conversation on Oct. 13, held via Zoom, consisted of five panelists who represented or associated with the Latinx community.

Freeman wanted to continue the discussion surrounding immigration and deportation so they reached out to Kaylee Hall, president of OU’s criminal justice club, to host a follow-up session.

“The purpose [of the follow-up event] is to keep the conversation going and extend the very short one hour discussion we had last week. These conversations should never stop at the end of the program…If we want to implement change and make a difference, then we have to keep doing the work which is what the criminal justice event is about,” Freeman said.

The criminal justice club held the event through Zoom and was open to all students to share thoughts or discussion points that may not have been addressed in the previous session. The night began with a review on the criminal aspect of the film, raising questions surrounding the holding of undocumented immigrants in detention facilities and why they are interrogated. Participants also touched on scenes from the film involving domestic abuse within immigrant communities and different barriers that could prevent individuals from obtaining legal citizenship.

Both Freeman and Hall, along with other executive board members of the criminal justice club, encourage students and faculty to continue to learn more about the topic.

“I think some of the things we talked about were super positive and I think the biggest thing we want OU students, faculty and staff to take away is to keep educating yourself and do the research,” Hall said.

She continued by highlighting the importance of being aware of your surroundings — look at what different institutions do to help undocumented immigrants and bring up any questions seen in the media surrounding these topics.

The criminal justice club is a student-run organization on campus that engages students in several topics and careers within criminal justice. Hall emphasizes the club’s drive to bring to light various social and political issues through different events such as “The Infiltrators” Follow-up Discussion.

“A big thing is just raising social and political issues bringing them to the floor and actually talking about them instead of having this culture of silence so when we watch different episodes we talk about the good and bad of the police,” Hall said. “We talk about what might’ve been wrong here, what’s unjust here, any issues that students might have.”

Hall says the club hopes to host events in the future that continue the conversation about undocumented immigrants and deportation as well as other events pertaining to various topics within criminal justice. Their next event will be a panel discussion on ATF — alcohol, tobacco and firearms — slated for Nov. 16. The club invites any students interested in criminal justice to keep an eye out for future events posted on their Instagram or GrizzOrgs.