Film screening, discussion centers around immigrants

Sean Philip Cotter

Friday, the YWCA in York City will hold the first of several events in a free documentary film-screening series it's putting on over the next few months.

The screening of "Documented" and an ensuing discussion will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at the organization's building at 320 E. Market St., according to Rabiya Khan, a local activist who's hosting the event.

Racial justice film series

The documentary is about the director's life: Jose Antonio Vargas was born in the Philippines before coming to the United States illegally when he was 12. He became a journalist and was part of a Washington Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking-news reporting for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings in 2008.

He later became an immigrants-rights activist. The documentary in part is about reconnecting with his mother, whom he hadn't seen in 20 years, according to the description on the movie's website.

Khan, an immigrant herself, came to the United States from England at age 12.

York City cited as 'welcoming community'

"It was just a really long, drawn-out process," said Khan, whose father and mother were born in India and Pakistan, respectively.

She said the goal of this screening and the ensuing conversation, which will feature a panel of local immigrants and an immigration attorney, is to help people become more informed about the whole process.

"I hope people come with open minds and open hearts," she said.

Khan said that this first documentary of the monthly  film series about racial justice is supposed to be something of a continuation of the "welcoming week" activities the city held in the last week of September. During that week, events such as citizenship workshops and talks were meant to spotlight the benefits of diversity and living in a multiethnic community, according to York City and the YWCA, which partnered to put it on.

EDITORIAL: A welcoming community

Anyone who plans on attending should email Ruby Martin at

"Documented" director 
Jose Antonio Vargas attends a Mitt Romney presidential campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 2012. The documentary will be shown Friday at the York YWCA.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.