Two years ago this week, President Trump launched his presidential campaign by demeaning Mexicans and promising to build a now infamous wall. The President’s political rhetoric has sparked fear across the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, including those chasing the American Dream on campuses across the country. “The Naked Truth: Undocumented on Campus,” a new hour-long documentary narrated by actress Jackie Cruz (“Orange Is the New Black”), takes an unprecedented and intimate look at the challenges facing undocumented students in the United States.
THE NUMBERS: The reality is an estimated 65,000 undocumented youth graduate from high school every year, according to Department of Education, many of them at the top of their class. However, only as few as 10 percent of them end up enrolling in college. It’s a startlingly low number that shows just how difficult it is for many of these young people to achieve their own American Dream.
Over the course of ten months, our cameras followed a remarkable 20-year-old student, on his journey to get an education and stay in the United States. Jose came to the United States with his mother and grew up in a Florida farming community. While he beat the odds and enrolled in college, we witness his struggle to adjust to life as a first year undocumented college student.
“Undocumented on Campus” was produced independently by FUSION TV with support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jackie Cruz currently stars as “Marisol ‘Flaca’ Gonzales” on Netflix’s critically-acclaimed series, “Orange Is the New Black,” a dramedy series based on Piper Kerman’s memoir Orange Is the New Black: My Year In a Women’s Prison. The original series, created by Jenji Kohan and also starring Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba and Laura Prepon, returned for its fifth season on June 9, 2017. Cruz, a three-time SAG Award winner, was named one of the “Top Latino Powerhouses under 40" by The Hollywood Reporter in 2013, joining such distinguished names as Eva Longoria, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato. Cruz was also recently included on Latina Magazine’s 30 Under 30 List in 2015.
Born in New York City, Cruz spent her childhood shuttling between New York, Los Angeles, the Dominican Republic and Miami, and often says that she carries a little piece of each city with her. Raised by her mother and her aunts, Cruz draws from the strength that allowed her to survive a near fatal car accident that almost left her paralyzed. Cruz overcame brain surgery, a coma and collapsed lung, but remained resolute in her determination not to let anything stand in the way of her dream to become a musician. Recently, Jackie has been inspiring college students around the country with her story and delivered her first TED Talk in the summer of 2015. Now a popular singer and songwriter, her music career continues to evolve and she is currently working on new material in both English and Spanish. Jackie currently resides in New York City.