A new biopic stirs immigration debates old and new
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When American-born actor Michael Peña was a year old, his parents were deported. They had illegally walked across the border from Mexico years earlier, and when they were caught by immigration authorities, they sent Peña and his brother to stay with relatives in the U.S. “It was quite a bit of a gamble for my parents,” says Peña, “but they came back a year later.” Peña’s father, who had been a farmer in Mexico, got a job at a button factory in Chicago and, eventually, a green card. Peña stayed in Chicago until, at 19, he decamped for Los Angeles to pursue his acting dreams.