‘Star’ Preaches Sanctuary: ‘Up to U.S. Cities to Protect Immigrants From Deportation’

After its several weeks long hiatus, Fox’s Star returned with a doozy of a March 13 episode, “When Stars Fall Down.” Along with it returned the plight of illegal immigrant, Angel Rivera (Evan Ross), who’s been moved to a sanctuary city due to concerns about ICE. His wife, Simone (Brittany O’Grady) is none too pleased or patient, even though Gravity Records owner Mateo (William Levy) is doing her, and Angel, a favor with his commitment to go behind the scenes to make Atlanta a sanctuary city.

Simone: You had no right to move Angel. 

Mateo: Let me call you back, man. Thanks. Simone, ICE was sniffing around. Somebody thought they saw him at the festival. But he’s fine. He’s safe as long as he’s in a city where they passed temporary sanctuary stay for immigrants. I moved him to Gainesville.

Simone: Florida?

Mateo: Yeah. Sometimes good things actually happen there. It’s up to U.S. Cities to push back on ICE to protect low-priority, nonviolent immigrants from deportation. That’s why I’m working on my connections. I believe, with the right push, maybe Atlanta’s city council will make Atlanta a sanctuary city. 

Simone: How long will that take? 

Mateo: Six months, maybe more. 

Simone: Where exactly is he? 

Mateo: It’s best you don’t know all the details. 

Simone: So, I just got him back, and you sent him away. What if something happens to him and I’m not there? I can’t do anything about it.

Mateo: You got to trust me. 

Simone: Why should I trust your ass? Nina didn’t. Unbelievable. 

Simone may be young and in love, and Mateo is the character we’re supposed to love to hate and hate to love, but what else does she expect from Mateo? Of course, she has to trust him, she has no other choice.

Mateo reminds her of this when she comes calling once more. And no, the episode does not span six months, so of course Mateo isn’t going to have had results yet.

Also taking place in this episode is Carlotta (Queen Latifah) confronting her stepfather after raping her as a child (he even impregnated her when she was 14, but the baby died shortly after being born). Star (Jude Demorest) spends most of the episode in jail after beating up a woman who was trying to harm her baby, a baby who it turns out was not fathered by the man Star thought.

Yet with all this Simone still finds time to pester Mateo, he even seeks to relate to her by telling her about his family fleeing Cuba, as if escaping a Communist regime and fearing ICE when in the country illegally are on the same playing field.

Simone: You said you’d help with Angel, not take over. 

Mateo: Simone. I am helping. 

Simone: Okay, well, I think that I should put out a song. Get people talking about it, and hopefully the buzz will get the vote passed faster. 

Mateo: Well, I think making a big PR stunt could backfire.

Simone: Oh, so we’re just supposed to work in the shadows? 

Mateo: Listen to me. Growing up in Cuba, my family didn’t agree with everything the new regime was doing. So my father did everything he could to get me and my siblings out of Cuba safely, and you know how he did it? Behind closed doors. Everything done in the dark isn’t always about being shady. It’s about keeping your loved ones safe. 

Simone: So I’m just supposed to sit here and wait for you to do something? 

Mateo: I’m afraid you don’t have any other choice. 

Simone should perhaps be a little more patient, and grateful, especially when Mateo still manages to preach to viewers liberal talking points about the duty of how “it’s up to U.S. cities to protect low-priority, nonviolent immigrants.”

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