Alien: American Dream Denied spotlights the emotional journey of high-skilled, documented immigrants as they seek permanence in a country that benefits from their talent, but denies them a home.

America's competitive edge in science and technology depends heavily on high-skilled immigrants from around the world. Yet, while headlines inundate us with the challenges at America's borders, a different immigration issue has been unfolding within the country. The same talent that America depends on for continued success faces an uphill battle to remain as contributing residents.

The employment-based green card backlog has grown to 1.8 million people, and applicants from countries such as India face up to 195 years of waiting for green cards. Nearly 200,000 will likely die before they get out of the backlog. Over 250,000 minors risk deportation from the country they call home if they reach the age of 21 before their parents gain permanent residence.

Alien exposes the human toll of America’s dependence on high-skilled, legal immigrants and how the Indian ​immigrant community bears the heaviest burden. The film intimately follows five Indian high-skilled immigrants ​and their families as they build lives and families in this country in an uphill battle toward their American Dream...

Meet the people

Sita Vakkalanka, Pre- ​med student, might have to ​self deport to India because of her parents' ​inability to get Green ​Cards.

It should be a win-win situation, not a ​lose-lose situation currently that is how ​it is, and it is sad that we cannot do ​anything about it

- Dr. Bhanu Vakkalanka (Oncologist)

Sadhak Sengupta, Cancer ​Scientist, is waiting for his ​Green Card for 17 years. He ​wants Congress and Senate ​to act on pending ​immigration bills.

Immigration is the first thing I think in ​the morning, and the last thing I think ​before I go to bed in the night

- Dr. Lopa Mathur (Community ​Clinical Psychologist)

Girish and his wife, Ketaki, migrated to Canada in the ​middle of the Covid pandemic in July 2020 after 18 long ​years of waiting for their Green Cards in the US.

We wanted to be Americans, but this Country ​doesn’t want us

- Girish Chavan (Entrepreneur in Canada)

Why this film is needed?

The U.S. media’s focus on illegal and undocumented ​immigrants means that many Americans know little about legal high-skilled immigrants and the inhumane ​battles they face.

ALIEN seeks to spark and contribute to public discourse ​on this overlooked issue and contribute to meaningful ​policy reform.

It is no secret that America needs comprehensive ​immigration reform. Missing from many public debates ​is how high-skilled workers who are often exploited and ​demeaned fit into comprehensive immigration reform. ​Through the national release of ALIEN, we will change ​that.

"My hope is dying every day..."

Sunayana Dumala, Indian immigrant on a dependent ​visa (H-4 visa) was at risk of deportation due to her ​husband's murder at the hands of a white supremacist in ​Kansas City.

She wants to create a safe haven for all ​immigrants through her non-profit Forever Welcome, but ​her visa status in the country is thwarting her efforts...

Join Us

Alien is the first feature documentary film focusing on ​high-skilled immigration policy made by an immigrant with ​first-hand personal experience. Through a strategic ​approach to releasing the film and community ​engagement, Alien will underscore the importance of a ​comprehensive approach to reforming the immigration ​system to make it more humane, fair, and accommodating ​to all immigrants, including the high-skilled immigrants ​helping advance the fields of science and technology.

Our release will reach a broad audience and achieve ​our mission objectives through the following initiatives:

  • Festival Release to build an audience and engage the ​national press
  • Virtual Events with grassroots and advocacy groups, ​incl. the film + live Q&A
  • Policymaker Engagement Campaign in DC and ​legislatures across the country
  • Digital Release the film commercially through iTunes, ​Amazon, and Netflix
  • National PBS Broadcast reaching millions of viewers
  • Screenings + discussions at top universities and ​corporate technology companies.

Alien is an American story but also a personal story. The film’s ​director, Vidyut Latay, and her husband, Ram, have lived in the US on ​a spectrum of available visas (H-4, H-1B, F-1, and O-1) and have a ​first-hand grasp of the complications of maneuvering through them. ​Through friends and family who have experienced the difficulties of ​navigating the immigration system, Vidyut has unique access to stories ​about high-skilled immigrants–their fears, worries, and aspirations. ​Alien candidly spotlights these little-heard stories.

As both a high-skilled legal immigrant and a documentary filmmaker, ​Vidyut brings fifteen years of experience, community contacts, and ​knowledge of the broken immigration system to this project. ​Fundamentally, she is a storyteller, keen to explore and share the ​nuances of this complex and timely subject.

High-skilled immigrants from India are ​silent victims of the broken immigration ​system

Vidyut Latay (Director/Producer - Alien)

Chaitanya Sareen is a creative and technologist with a passion for storytelling. He has Executive Produced several award-winning films, including the documentary MEET THE PATELS and the short film YELLOW, nominated for a 2024 BAFTA and shortlisted for an Oscar. He is also a seasoned product leader with 20 years of technology experience and over 50 patents.

Chaitanya is a proud US Citizen who celebrates fellow passionate immigrants and their impact on this country

Chaitanya Sareen (Executive Producer - Alien)