A seasoned actor takes on the role of an immigration lawyer in an upcoming film, mirroring his own legal battle in real life.

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In Julio Torres’ new film “Problemista,” the grim realities of the US immigration system are brought to life through the eyes of protagonist Alejandro, portrayed by Torres himself. In a desperate bid to remain in the United States and pursue his dreams, Alejandro navigates a surreal world where people vanish from law offices if their cases are lost.

As Alejandro faces the daunting challenge of finding a visa cosigner within a month, viewers are taken on a journey through the absurdities of Khalil Immigration Law, where even the office motto offers little assurance. Played by Laith Nakli, attorney Mr. Khalil reluctantly guides Alejandro through the labyrinthine bureaucracy, with little hope in sight.

For Nakli, who shares parallels with Alejandro’s plight, the role hits close to home. Like his character, Nakli grapples with the uncertainty of his own immigration status, stemming from a legal ordeal that has shadowed him for over two decades. A former bodybuilder turned actor, Nakli’s life took a tumultuous turn following a 1998 arrest on federal charges.

Despite finding success in Hollywood, Nakli’s past continues to cast a long shadow, with the threat of deportation looming over his every move. His application for a presidential pardon offers a glimmer of hope for a fresh start and a chance to finally attain US citizenship.

As Nakli sheds light on his personal struggles, he underscores the broader challenges faced by immigrants navigating the US immigration system. Through his role in “Problemista,” Nakli brings to life the Kafkaesque absurdities that often define the immigrant experience, offering a poignant reflection on resilience and the pursuit of the American dream.

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