PBS Explores Immigration in Homeland

Posted on July 17, 2012

Homeland: Immigration in America reveals the complexity of the election-year issue. The three-part series premieres nationally on PBS on Friday, July 20 and 27, 2012, at 10pm ET.


While immigration is a national issue this election year, it plays out daily in the lives of people in communities across the country. Homeland: Immigration in America explores the contemporary story of immigration in America. Narrated by Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, and produced by the Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis, the series presents contemporary stories of immigrants—legal and illegal—and those who confront them, help them, employ them, and craft legislation that affects them.

Immigration is one of the most polarizing issues facing America today. It’s a story of new immigrants who find themselves walking a fine line between access to and expulsion from the American dream. It’s also a story of American citizens who wonder if legal and illegal immigrants threaten their way of life. These intertwined and complex issues may have a significant effect on the choices people make when they go to the polls in November. The stories in Homeland reveal the complex economic, political, personal and cultural dilemmas that are often portrayed as simple choices of right or wrong, legal or illegal. 

Immigration is not just a short-term border state issue; it is a national and local issue with long-term consequences for communities and the nation as a whole. Homeland travels to small towns and big cities that are dealing with immigration, such as tiny Monett, Missouri, where immigrants fuel the poultry processing industry. The series also meets with experts around the country, from Los Angeles, where UCLA professor Abel Valenzuela talks about the impact of immigrant labor, to Washington, D.C., where policy makers wrestle with the concerns of humanitarian, political and business interests. 

Among those interviewed are Michael Chertoff, former secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush; former governor and U.N. ambassador Bill Richardson (D-New Mexico); Juan Williams, political analyst, FOX News; Edward Alden, senior fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; and Sasha Chanoff, executive director, Mapendo International, an organization dedicated to refugee rescue, relief and resettlement in Africa and the U.S. More information about the series and engagement opportunities can be found at pbs.org/homeland


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