Internationally-recognized Boston-based immigration attorney Susan Cohen has released “Looking for the Angels,” her second music video about the plight of refugees, in observance of World Refugee Month. Based on her original song of the same name, it tells the story of a teenage boy in Honduras who is bidding farewell to his grandmother as he prepares to escape his country’s brutal violence. He promises to return one day for his grandmother to bring her to safety. The grandmother’s worst fears are confirmed when she does not hear from him after several weeks. Students and alumni from the Berklee College of Music in Boston, including musicians from Central and Latin American countries that have been impacted by violence, provided the video’s instrumentation and vocals.
Individuals and organizations are encouraged to share the video in order to shed light on how dangerous life is in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where gang violence is rampant and teenagers who resist joining gangs are targeted for assassination, as well as help nonprofits and faith communities educate and engage volunteers and raise more funds for advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers. The song also highlights the perils of the long and dangerous journey to the U.S. border.
“Being a member of a group that has resisted gang violence in one’s home country, where that country’s government refuses to provide protection or legal recourse, is a valid ground for political asylum in the U.S.,” says Cohen. “Yet since 2017, the U.S. government has tightened the rules regarding asylum and has applied harsh standards in reviewing asylum applications. Migrants fleeing for their lives seek refuge in the U.S. because they have heard that the country is not corrupt and that justice is available to all.”
Cohen is the founder and chair of the immigration practice at Mintz Levin, a Boston-based law firm recognized for its expertise in the field of immigration and nationality law. She is the winner of numerous awards for her political asylum work, a frequent panelist at immigration-related conferences and a contributor to many immigration-related publications. She is also a songwriter and founder of White Dove Projects, which creates music about social justice issues. Her previous music video, “Beyond the Borders,” about the plight of a Syrian refugee family, was released last June and also featured students and alumni from the Berklee College of Music.
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