Business lobby to screen movie about success of young illegal immigrants

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host a screening this week of a new documentary chronicling the success story of a group of young illegal immigrants who competed in a government-sponsored robotics competition.

The Thursday showing of "Underwater Dreams" will be followed by remarks from experts at the business group, which is a vocal proponent of the sweeping immigration proposal that is now languishing in Congress.

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The film is billed as documenting the intersection of education and immigration in the United States, and focuses on a group of high school students whose teachers entered them in a underwater robotics competition sponsored by the NASA.

“This rag-tag high school team of undocumented Mexican boys did what no one thought possible,” according to a promotional description of the movie.

Slated to appear at the event are Randel K. Johnson, the Chamber’s senior vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits; and Al Martinez-Fonts Jr., who is vice president of the Chamber and executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

The Chamber, which is the country’s biggest business lobby, spent more than $50 million last year on a yet-unsuccessful push for approval of legislation that passed the Senate but remains stalled in the House.

"We're determined to make 2014 the year that immigration reform is finally enacted," Tom Dononhue, the Chamber's president and CEO, said at the beginning of the year.