Before presenting the award for Best Production Design, Kumail Nanjiani and Lupita Nyong’o took a moment to express their support for “Dreamers,” undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children who have largely known no other country.
The pair began with a nod to their own immigrant experiences — Nyong’o, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2014 is from Kenya and Nanjiani, nominated this year for Best Original Screenplay is “from Pakistan and Iowa, two places that nobody from Hollywood can find on a map.” They then drew a connection between the entertainment industry, the American Dream, and Dreamers metaphorical and literal.
“Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers. We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood. And Dreams are the foundation of America,” Nyong’o said.
“So to all the dreamers out there,” Nanjiani added, “we stand with you.”
More than 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children are attempting to remain in the country through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a policy established by President Obama in 2012. The Trump Administration opposes the policy and the issue is currently the subject of ongoing court battles between his administration and the states of New York and California. it was also a key disagreement leading to the 2018 government shutdown.