Junior Fellowship: Alejandro Lombard

Alejandro Lombard 23 adjusts his camera to film footage for his junior fellowship project.

Printed with permission of Alejandro Lombard

Alejandro Lombard ’23 adjusts his camera to film footage for his junior fellowship project.

Zoe Goor

Alejandro Lombard ’23 created a documentary about immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border for his Junior Summer Fellowship project, “Seeking Asylum.”

Lombard visited the U.S.-Mexico border with the organizations This is About Humanity, Tijuana Sin Hambre, International Community Foundation and Movimiento Juventud. He documented border shelters, interviewed families and recorded their stories.

Lombard said he was inspired to make his film after traveling to the border a few years ago and staying in a shelter with families seeking asylum.

“Initially, I was pretty distressed and  sad when I saw the tents that [the immigrants] are living in, but as I spent more time with young mothers and children, I realized that they have such strength, perseverance and hope,” Lombard said. “That’s something that I wanted to capture in this documentary.”

Director of Kutler Center and Summer School Programs Jim Patterson, who helps develop various programs outside the traditional liberal arts core, said Lombard’s fellowship project stood out because of its geographical relevance. 

“Sharing a documentary about this region seems like a good way to help us understand an area that is really in our backyard,” Patterson said. 

Lombard said he was first drawn to the topic of immigration in middle school, when the Trump administration passed anti-immigration policies and campaigned to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The inaccurate and ugly rhetoric of the previous administration had a profound and negative impact on me as an 11-year-old,” Lombard said. “My motivation for making this documentary is to help reframe the narrative of immigration and asylum in this country by telling a personal story of a family’s journey.”