New Americans Cultural Riches Take The Quiz
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3/31/04
Lexington, MA
Congratulations for you series "The New Americans". It is a great opportunity for everybody either americans or foreigners to see peolple's struggles in their homeland and also in this country. It shows that there is no paradise in the world: some are more privileged than others as the US.

3/31/04
JW
Amery, WI
Kudos PBS! I very rarely watch TV these days but found The New Americans by chance. I am so glad I did. It is extremely well done and really drew me into the lives and struggles of the families. Would I have the strength to do what they have done? Unfortunately, I doubt it. I was enrolled in a licensure program to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) but dropped before I started because I found out I was pregnant. My children are a little older now and I have been inspired to go back and get that license. I want to help these "new americans" any way I can! Thank you PBS!

3/31/04
Bonnie O'Meara
Chicago, IL
I stumbled upon this program last night and didn't move until it was over. As a middle-class 20-something white girl born in the suburbs, I am far removed from the generations of ancestors who underwent similar challenges.
I sometimes struggle to understand the experiences of my boyfriend's family. His mother moved to the U.S. from Colombia in 1980 and has fought tooth and nail ever since to provide food, clothing, shelter, and education for her son and daughter. At times I have trouble putting myself in her shoes, not understanding her relationship with her son and how the family dynamic evolved through their struggles. I cried as I watched a father tell his young son he was a man... I saw my boyfriend through this little boy.
Thank you for the reminder I needed. I hope through more programing such as this, we will continue to gain awareness and understanding for those close to us, for those we pass on the street, and those we cannot ignore.

3/31/04
Kathryn
Seattle, WA
I, too, came upon this program accidently last evening but I have to say it was the most riveting show I have seen in years. I am a paraeducator for the ELL (English Language Learners)program in a local elementary school. The families that leave their homeland to make a better life for their children in America should be welcomed by us all, for our ancestors did the same thing for us. They have made great sacrifices and anything we can do to ease their transition into our culture will only benefit us all in the years to come. Thank you, PBS, for sharing the stories of these families with us. Viewers will glean what they can and wish to, but with this new found awareness we will, hopefully, be more compassionate towards and tolerant of our "New Americans".

3/31/04
Melissa
Crosby, TX
I just wanted to let you you guys know your show is fabulous. especially the part about mex immigrants. It really moved me. I myself am not an immigrant, neither are my parents or even my grandparents but Im still proud to be Mexican American. It really saddens me to see how people yearn to be in this country to better their future. The government sees their desperation to enter this country. the suffering many have to go through and yet many try to do it the right way and the government still makes it hard for them as in the case of the mex family. I was in tears when they were in the jaurez office. but not only tears of sympathy but rage because here is this family trying to enter the the country the right way. not going through that awful way of the "coyotes" and the government is acting like the coyotes in disguise!!! I could go on forever on this subject but I'd rather not. can't wait till tonight's show. keep up the good work!!

3/31/04
Racquel Charlton
Brooklyn, NY
Wonderful, Touching, Brilliant. I was so moved and touched by each story. I found myself sharing the emotions of the New Americans. I arrived to this country in 1983 with my mother. She was a single parent at the time. She worked numerous jobs to provide for the family. She managed to put herself through college she even received her Masters degree. How she accomplished this I do not know. As a child leaving my home country in the West Indies with my friends and family was a hard task. I now can look back and say my mother did everything she did to benefit her family. I want all immigrant families to know hard work, perseverance, and PRAYER will get you through this life. It might not be your generation but you can provide a greater life for you children and grandchildren. Thank you to PBS for giving immigrant families a voice.

3/31/04
mississauga, ontario
Without sounding over-the-top, I have to say that this documentary has changed me.
America and Canada should stop pretending that it is immigrants who need us so much more than we need them.
And I feel comforted because my husband's experiences are so similar to those profiled. We are not alone!!
I am just riveted by this documentary. We really are a very small world.

3/31/04
Valdosta, Ga
Watching this series has really made me have more compassion for people that come here to have a better life. I really have a better understanding and respect along with admiration for those making a change to a different country. I want to see how I can volunteer and make those that come here feel more at home and show that there are people that care.

Thanks for this.

3/31/04
Lisa Gonzalez
My husband found this show while browsing through the channels, and we have been addicted ever since. My husband is from Guatemala. He has been in this country since he was 17. He is now 34 years old. People still discriminate against him every day. He has came across a combination of people who accept him and do not judge him for his race or origin, and the few who think that he is taking from an American by being in this country.This show displays a journey unbeknownst to the American people. It gives them the opportunity to look through the eyes of suffering people who only want to live out their dreams. It sheds new light on the way people treat eachother. I only hope that American people learn from this show. I am an American woman, and have been with my husband for 14 years. We are going to have our ten year anniversery in July. My husband has not seen his mother since the day he left Guatemala, and she has never met her grandchildren.

3/31/04
LAKESHA N. ROBERTS
MICHIGAN CITY
the store about the mexican family especially move me. i was praying along side them that they would find a sponscor so they could come to america. if we,americans, knewo about sponscorship for needy families i'am sure we would help.

3/31/04
Gina
Pittsburgh,PA
Like others, I was glued to the television when I discovered this documentary last evening. I think it is wonderful that PBS has chosen to relate the experiences of these families in such a personal way.

I was deeply moved by the Flores family. The love, compassion and respect they demonstrate for one another is something that we do not see everyday in this country. So many of us are caught up in wanting more and more and feeling deprived when we do not get it. Hopefully, this families daily struggle just to survive and be together will teach us all to be more thankful for what we have and to be more compasssionate for the plight of others.

I find the Flores father to be a remarkeable human being. His strength to pursue in the most difficult of circumstances, and his self-sacrificing dedication to his family are inspirational! I cannot imagine ever being capable of leaving my family, to live in a foreign culture, and learn to speak read and write in that language in order to ensure the survial of me and my family. Mr. Flores is truly amazing. I wish he and his family the best of luck!

3/31/04
Angela Wright
Gainesville Florida
I am enjoying this show tremendously I wish I could see it from the beggining. It is so rich and entertaining. I love all the Characters especially the mother from Iran.

3/31/04
K. Sorrels
I consider myself lucky to have watched the program last night. I especially felt for Pedro Flores and his family. After having read about working conditions in slaughterhouses in the book "Fast Food Nation," my heart really went out to him. Watching him seperate from his family broke my heart. I haven't cried that hard in years! I lived in abroad in Europe for one and a half years and understand the language problems these people must be experiencing, let alone the culture-everything is a challenge.

The best part about the show, was that it showed the universal human qualities that we all have and can relate to-despite your culture or ethnic background.

Going to bed that night, I thanked God for all of the true blessings he has given me and this show will always remind of what things are important in life.

3/31/04
CULLEN DORN
Palm Bay, Florida
I happened upon PBS by chance yesterday, and was immediately hooked by your presentation of The New Americans. I was swept away by the humanity of their quest, struggle, and survival in a new world that appeared both startling and disappointing, but agreeably necessary for growth. I am a survivor of Harlem streets; see it all, experienced it all, but was reduced to tears after watching your brilliant masterpiece: The New Americans. Thank you.

3/31/04
M. Medina
It was very refreshing to watch the episode of "New Americans" last night. I think it is very important to tell the stories and experiences of immigrants, so that the general population can understand and have more compassion and acceptance of those who have different backgrounds. I agree that the US has become a very hard place for immigrants to gain acceptance especially post 9-11. We should continue to seek the good in all people, regardless of differences. The US is a country of immigrants (unless you are Native American, you are an immigrant-of your own choice or not).

3/31/04
Although I think your program has many excellent segments and is well done, I find it exceptionally anti-semetic. I did not expect a program on immigration and cultural adaptation to include such anti- Israeli sentiments.

3/31/04
LeoSun
Philadelphia, PA
I was shocked at the selfish attitudes and misconceptions expressed by the immigrants in the show. The only family that touched me was the struggle of the Ogoni. The Palestinian man who brought his wife over was most insulting. He tells a child (nephew?) that Americans don't learn the metric system because we think we are better than anyone else in the world, says America is a racist place, and seems more intent on preserving his own culture rather than join ours.And, intentionally or not, in the process will he be bringing the Arab/Jewish conflict to our shores??

I feel the baseball teams should look to our own inner cities and rural communities for at risk youth for future ball players. This would give our youth an alternative to gangs, broken homes and drug culture. Remember when the narrator in the Dominican Republic had said many of the young Dominicans drop out of school to pursue a very slim chance at a sports career, then when it fails to materialize ( what did you expect??) they drift around on the streets as school dropouts? The young men would do better for themselves and their country/ culture to stay in school and build a better reality for themselves and their country. Shame on the American sports teams for causing so much chaos abroad in order to make a dollar. Pathetic!

I truly doubt that any of the people really wanted to be in the USA to join us as a country and as a culture.The sister of Ken Saro-Wiwa had said she wanted to return home. The Palestinian man certainly seemed more interested in preserving Arab, specificaly Palestinian, culture rather than celebrating American culture. The same can be said of his wife.She wanted a drivers license,but she hadn't even learned English. If I were to move to a foriegn country, I would make every effort to learn the language FIRST, or at least when I got there! All seemed much more intent on making a dollar. Even the young Ogoni in the refugee came had said America is a place where they give you money.And this is from someone who is related to a fairly well educated individual who had travelled.

America is a country, not an economic decision. Yes, we are made up of people from all over the globe, but we became another culture.We have to need an immigrant as much as they need us for immigration to occur without resentment or conflict on both sides. Before you go on about the statue of liberty, let's remember that the statue was given to us, it isn't a part of our constitution to take everyone who feels they should come here. Besides, the needs of a growing republic are far different from thoses of today.As for the claim that they do the dirty work we wouldn't, let me say we must do our own dirty work. It was once a rite of passage for teens to do yard work, wash dishes,babysit, etc when they needed more money. In my area only Latin American immigrants do this work now. What does this tell our children? What does it say about us? A recent article in a local newspaper explained that the Latin immigrants used to construct houses in the local housing boom are often illegal and very easily taken advantage of on the job. They are paid far less and have no recourse for abuse or if injured. No kidding- Let's see a WHYY special about that!

I feel the people shown on the show should remain in their own countries and solve the problems there, rather than stream to our shores. This is especially true for the Palestinian family, and even for the Mexican family. Solve the water rights issue with the government if that is why they are forced to leave.

I am in no way a racist.I DO NOT hate the immigrants to our shores. Not at all! I truly feel for all of them, and hope that by being here in the USA they can eventually improve the situations that exist in those lands. Some food for thought that demands a post(or a TV show ) of its own- how have our needs/demands in the developed world help to create increased immigration,legal or not? And what are Americas responsibilities? Does it mean unchecked immigration? For example, we want the oil in Nigeria, and look at the result. The story of the young Dominicans is another example. Watching the show gave me a greater appreciation of all that we have here, and how wonderful my life is compared to so many other places on this planet. But there is a limit to what the USA can do for people, and we are a country & culture of our own, not a collection of cultures or just an economic decision. This post disagrees sharply with the views expressed in the posts I read. But ALL views need to be presented,otherwise there isn't a discussion of issues.A one sided debate is no debate at all.

3/31/04
Minneapolis, MN
I have been riveted to the screen. This series should be required viewing in middle and high schools.

3/31/04
Wanda Allen
Brunswick, GA
I have never been so touched by a television program. Everything about the production was first rate! This program has the ability to change lives. It has mine. I will never look at immigrants in the same way again. My son is dating a young lady from Jamaica who is in this country on an education visa. I now understand the desperation in her eyes as she embarks on a journey to remain in this country after graduation this spring. Until last night, I really could not understand why she did not want to go back home after being away for four years, and "somehow" make her country work for her. I now understand and will try to do everything in my power to help her get an opportunity at the American Dream she so desperately desires. The dream, that I have, until now, taken for granted.

Wonderful program! I look forward to future episodes.

3/31/04
Jackie
West Hartford, CT
I must say is "MUST SEE TV"! Congratulations for a job well done. -Jackie

3/31/04
Peggy
Clinton Ct
After a day of complaining that I could not afford a better car, a new sofa etc.. I watched The New Americans, and I felt very ashamed of myself. Seeing all of these people struggle to make a life in the US put everything in a different perspective.

It also made me think of my grandmother who came to this country when she was 17 from Ireland. This was in 1917 and my mother always tells me of the poverty and struggles that she had here. She also had to send back most of her earnings to her family in Ireland as it was expected of her. I remember her being a person that always talked of the old country and how she missed it, and I never could understand why.

From this show I know I owe her a great deal.

Thank you PBS for airing this show.

3/31/04
Carmen Kunze
West Palm Beach, Florida
This is an incredible documentary and we have been hooked to our t.v.'s the last two nights. As a child of Cuban immigrants I can identify with what these families feel. I also deal with immigrant families in my work and this has given me a whole new understanding on their lives. It's amazing how much we are all alike in our needs and what we want out of our lives.

EVERYONE should watch this series and feel blessed to live here in the USA and at the same time understand that no matter what our culture is, we are all still human beings.

3/31/04
Fatima
PA
Very well made..First time I see immigrant's perspectives on TV. I liked all the stories which were very touching, however, the thing that was extremely disturbing was the SHELL oil incident in Nigeria. Welcome to the real world and the real core problems of why there are refugee crisis' in the first place.

3/31/04
Cristina
Dallas
...thank you!

3/31/04
Aaron
Brooklyn, New York
At one point in the program there where men in a palestinin village discussing the United States. A comment was made the "The united states is the most racist country in the world" this comment was made by a man that is bringing his new wife to this country. It makes you wonder how long the hyphenation of nationalities can go on without the hyphenation of loyalties

3/31/04
Don
Detroit, Michigan
I stumbled across this program quite accidentally, and was overwhelmed by the stories. My mother came to this country from Korea 35 years ago, and all my life, told me of the importance of family; having left hers behind for a new and better life for her children in America.

It never really sank in, sad to say. Having found myself caught up in daily routine, it wasn't until I saw the common thread amongst all the persons profiled in the series that it all became perfectly clear. People want a good life - for themselves, and for their families. They want peace. They want to be able to enjoy the short time they have on this planet. They want to enjoy the company of good friends and good neighbors. Mothers love their children.

The power of this series speaks volumes. There is no secret political agenda. No underlying propaganda. It became obvious that the root cause of all the strife and suffering can be attributed to a handful of sociopaths, and the diminutive number who support and believe their twisted agenda. What a horrible, horrible arrangement we good people have been thrust into.

Thank you PBS for once again bringing to light true human existence. It's comforting to finally recognize that people of all nations have always embraced the same basic principles. At the same time, it's disconcerting to have to face the fact that we've all been duped by the contorted vision of a perverse few.

3/31/04
Stacie Ratliff
Los Angeles, CA
This documentary is not like any I've ever seen -- an intimate journey into the past and present lives of immigrant families. Every American should see this series. I found the pains, struggles, and dilemmas of these families both heart-wrenching and compelling. I laughed and I cried. Best of all, this film gave me a great appreciation for the blessings I have and those "mundane" everyday things I take so often for granted that to some are nothing less than luxuries --clean air, running water, a bed to sleep in, and hamburgers for goodness sake.

There are so many issues in this movie that touched me -I can't possibly make mention of them all. I think most of all what touched me was the gentle, kind and resilient spirit of Israel Nwidor who had every reason to feel bitter and angry about his plight. Most Americans have no idea what it feels like to be imprisoned and tortured for the nonviolent assertion of their most basic human rights. Most of the immigrants I've met in America, like the ones in this film, face the harsh reality of having to "start over" and not be fully respected or compensated fairly for the educations and work experience they've obtained in other countries.

America is still more of a tossed salad then a melting pot in many respects. Based on the comments I've heard from Americans (including people of color), there is still a great deal of xenophobia and immigrants are often looked down upon. The most ridiculous notion I've heard is that immigrants are "taking all of our jobs." In 95% of the cases (the IT and high-tech industries notwithstanding), immigrants take the low-wage, low-prestige, semi- ot unskilled jobs that most Americans don't want.

I wish nothing but the best for the families featured in this film; they have enriched my perspective of their plights. The wheels of my minde are already turning with respect to how I can help.

3/31/04
Madhuri
Hello, I must commend PBS on this wonderful new series. I have been watching every night and find the stories very interesting. I would like to comment that as the daughter of immigrant parents who migrated from India in the early 70's I can understand the frustration felt by some immigrants learning to adjust to live in America. I find it very interesting that other people commented about Hatem saying "the USA is the most racist nation in the world" and spouted stuff like that if he didnt like it here he should go back or leave. See this is what I am talking about. While I dont agree with what he said, racism exists everywhere but I dont think we can label one country as more racist than others. I do feel he has a right to voice his opinion as an American. He is an American just like you are and seems to me that he was born here or came here when he was very young. Isreal also made comments about how he is so unhappy about being in America and how he feels there is no difference..Why isnt anyone in uproar about that? I guess the Palestinian gets more flack these days which is sad. As I said before I might not agree with what he said but he has a right to say it. Also, when immigrants come to America you cannot expect them to be robotic and 100% complacent about everything. America is wonderful melting pot full of opportunities and if you work hard success is attainable. BUT..they are human beings you cannot expect them to not find fault with your country. That doesnt mean they arent grateful and happy they are in America,it just means they are going thru the motions as anyone does and that they are HUMAN. I have noticed that while certain "old time" Americans are given the priviledge to criticize what they like and dont like about this country the newcomers are more criticized for doing the same. It's a bit ironic considering our basic right as Americans allows us the freedom of speech. I am really interested in the Indian story as my parents are from there. Especially nowadays with the backlash of outsourcing going on. Curious to see that story as well..Keep it up PBS..you guys rock!

3/31/04
At times I truly feel that America is not a "melting pot" and I feel it shouldn't be. I feel it needs to be a "salad bowl" in which the unique quality about each culture is preserved, valued and respected. I feel in a state of "melting pot" we ignore and dismiss these qualities. In a "salad bowl" we have the privilge to keep our color and ingredient...we can only enhance the tatse without loosing our identity.

3/31/04
Brenda Jansen
Thank you PBS for such a wonderful show! My 12 year old son and I are watching it together. At first he was not thrilled with the idea but, he is as caught up in the show as I am.

I enjoy all the different people and their stories but, really loved the family from Mexico. The father seemed like such a wonderful husband and father. When their son was crying about being left behind I just wept.

My husband came to this country 18 years ago and I know how hard it has been for him but, he is an American now. He works hard and has made a life here.

Thank you,Thank you, Thank you for a wonderful program.

3/31/04
Robert Walsh
San Diego CA
I've worked with immigrants and refugees my whole career in education. In the series you show us both the life immigrants have in the U.S. and the life they left in their home countries, both important things for Americans to see. Real people, it's great to know them. Thank you for making it and showing it.

3/31/04
Gine
Nevada
The show expressed greatly the realism of these people lives. I applaud the people responsible of making this documentary. I am hoping for another segment.

3/31/04
Washington, D.C.
First, I want to applaud PBS for a rather comprehensive look at the lives of people who perpetually exist on the periphery of American society but yet contribute immeasurably to its successes. Still, I believe that there is a certain familiar refrain with these story lines that portrays a rather limited view of immigrants, e.g. the AFRICAN REFUGEE. The imprimatur of the media (books, movies etc.)on these stories is absolute, it seems. As such, it is necessary for the media to depict positive images of these nations since not everything is despair. Especially for Africa that has suffered from active negative depictions historically--these stories would be just as easily told against the backdrop of an African metropolis. As a young Nigerian (actually from the Niger-Delta area) among countless others who are working in various intellectual frontiers here in the U.S., it is my desire that the mainstream understand exactly what life is like in Nigeria and other nations. I am proud that the ogoni struggle has gained global recognition and understand the focus in this context. Looking forward, however, the Nigerian experience must be portrayed in its entirety.

3/31/04
Ms. Alexander
Los Angeles
Finally the truth is out!!! Instead of sounding like a crazy history teacher because the textbooks don't allow my students to see the reality of the world and the US as it is, I am so happy that students can witness reality for immigrants in the US. I have cried but have seen the light and as usual have the responsibility to spread truth through teaching. My mother was an immigrant to this country and by watching this documentary I am able to feel the excitment, pain, joy, and sorrow that one has when coming to the US. It's crazy to see how the media has influenced the world with illusions. With your documentary we are faced to return back to life and back to reality instead of textbook and hollywood fairytales.

3/31/04
susan kim
los angeles CA
I love this show! It feels so real and so foreign. I realize how out of touch I actually am with the diversity of my community. It invokes such strong emotions in me. What can I do to help support the people in the program or others?

3/31/04
seattle, wa
Thank you for putting a story that is every immigrants story on television. It depicts the struggle to move ahead and social acclimation that is often stretched out over years. It portrays the misinterpretations, bias and ignorance that compounds cultural shock. It highlights the emotional solitude and old freedoms traded for new. It is a molding of a person; a metamorphosis within and across national borders and political boundaries. This is very much my story as well and I am eager to see what hope and light has appeared in the lives of these brave and brilliant people. I'm immensely grateful to them and PBS for allowing their reality to be shared with everyone else.

3/31/04
Kathy Cromar
West Hills, CA
Thank you for a wonderful experience. I have learned so much fron the "New Americans". I can't wait to see the last part of the series. I have thought about and prayed for these people for the last 2 days.

I just wish all of the country could spend time with these Americans.

3/31/04
Lilian C.
Canada
Tonight was the first night I watched the series 'The New Americans'and I cannot express in words the gratitude I feel towards the producers and financial supporters of the series. Thank you! Although I came to Canada at a young age with my family, I still remeber my roots. Although each persons journey is unique in its own way there are struggles and experiences that are shared by all immigrants. But what I can say is that through faith, hard work, dedication and determination dreams can be reached. Being an immigrant teaches you not to take things for granted. I know that my parents sacrificed all that they had worked for in their lives for a more enriched future for me and my sister.

I recently graduated from University with a degree in psychology and have a job that I truly love. I share this story with you all, to inspire you to dream and to work hard towards a future that will make you and your family proud. To all the families in the series, I would like to say thank you for sharing your live experiences and I pray that one day you will be all that you have dreamed of and so much more.

Para Pedro y su familia les deseo bendiciones y fortaleza. Que dios los bendiga hoy y siempre!

3/31/04
Ana B.
Federal Way, WA
I don't know how long The new Americans show's been on, but my husband and I just discovered it. It is a delight to find programs like these on TV, we are hooked and can't wait to watch the next episode. It's amazing to see the things these people go through. I'm Mexican, Ihave to brothers that came to this country in the early 80's and started their lives and fought, and worked hard for what they have now. I was a little luckier, although I came here ilegally, I didn't have to cross the dessert to get here, I had family here who took care of me. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, my respects for all the people on the show and the thousands of other imigrants that have to leave their mother land in search of the American dream.

3/31/04
Sue Dalrymple
Sacramento CA
I love this show! Thank you so much! I am so touched by these people's inspirational lives. The United States was built and continues to be built by immigrants all over the world, and this show beautifully and effectively depicts that.

3/31/04
I viewed your program for the first time tonight, 30th of March, 2004. I never write in for any show, but I am compelled to write in my views on this one. This show is so very well written and edited, I have to say, Bravo! I wish every person's story could be told this way. Getting to know our neighbors would be less threatening. May God empower you to keep up the good work.

In Chirst, Smith

3/31/04
Adriana
Hoston, Texas
I'm an immigrant myself. I have learned to be fearless and to live the journey of life with tolerance towards difference, compassion to what I don't understand and to love those who are ignorant about the essence of each individual.

Thank you KPBS to put on television what we can learn in our daily life if we could care more about the people around us, regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference.

3/31/04
Albert Ton
Chicago, IL
Thank you PBS for a great movie New Americans, this movie is really a Window To The World.

3/31/04
Tucson, AZ
I read some reviews of "The New Americans" and thought I would give it 5 minutes, because I read that it was compelling. I must admit, I was completely "sucked in" by the stories told in this documentary. Living in Tucson, I was especially riveted by the story of the family trying to emigrate, whole, from Mexico. I will watch, with baited breath, the 3rd installment tomorrow night. This documentary, without a doubt, has broadened my understanding of the immigrant experience. I hope there will be a follow-up story later, because these lovely people (all of them) are now written into my consciousness, and I hope they all achieve "the American dream"... Justice, Prosperity and Happiness.

3/31/04
Hannibal, MO
Watching the New Americans is riveting. Thank you for doing such a great job in connecting us to their experiences. It makes me realize how much we take for granted. After seeing the first two episodes I am anxious to see more. Thanks for such good progaming! Every American needs to see this series.

3/31/04
Stephanie
New Orleans, LA
I am a Nurse and have met people of all nationalities and this program was incredibly touching. WOW! I was flipping through the channels while rocking my 3 year old to sleep....in just a few seconds of your program I was absolutely drawn to the documentary! My heart went out to all of these people. I was especially heart broken about the Mexican family and the set-backs they have to endure to get here. I just wanted to reach out to those beautiful children and the parents to help them. The Father wanted to make an honest living, like the rest of us, to have his family here for a better life. We have to remember though, these procedures our for our protection. Just wish there was an easier way for the honest-hearted immigrants to get here. I am anxiously awaiting the next part of this wonderful and compelling program. It is so interesting, yet touching, to be shown their side of the story.

On the other hand, I was bothered by the negative comment from the Nigerian woman about America because this is a wonderful place. And yes....we are fortunate to be here. No matter where you live in this world, there will be something, somewhere that people may not like.

In reference to a comment made by someone replying in an earlier "Talkback" paragraph....America is about Prosperity!!! That is why this is such a great Country! If one wants to live here and have a successful, peaceful, and pleasant life.....you have to make it that way and work for it like we do!

3/31/04
Cindy Ramos
Hutto, Texas
I think each and every one of us can in someway relate and feel for the lives that are portrayed in this series. No matter if it is your generation, or your past generations, all struggled to gain what we have and know as freedom. It's tragic to now see how much we've taken for granted. I feel so ashamed...Who are we to judge who should and should not be allowed to come here? People who turn their faces and answer, "overpopulation" or "money", lack the very essence of human characteristics: compassion.

This show is phenomenal. Words can't describe how much this show has touched me. This is the type of show the major networks should be broadcasting. Way to go PBS!

3/31/04
kayla
I think this show is very moving. I'm in fourth grade and have learned a lot from these families. Ricardo is so cute!!!!!

3/31/04
Bob Neal
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Congratulations on a well documented and sensitive account of the desires and trials of people groups around the globe. Those of us born and raised in America generally see only the face of a person from other cultures, and fail to recognize their heart, values, bewilderment and for those that are able to come ashore, we probably miss the impact of their joy. Your presentation clearly demonstrates the common soul within all of us and the need to recognize humanity over self. All mankind has a lot to learn if we desire to understand the heart and needs of others. The New Americans is a program that certainly promotes this concept. Thanks - Bob

3/31/04
Elaine Meyrial
Westport CT
My husband came here from Europe to do graduate study and stayed. While he never had to endure the material hardships and the difficulty of getting work commensuate with his qualifications, he had to give up a culture and a country that he loved.

I teach ESL to hispanic immigrants in the evening, and I know that immigrants, whether they are legal or illegal, are the bravest people in the world. Most of us wouldn't have the courage to leave language, culture and country behind to make one's way in a foreign land.

Thank you for giving us just a small taste of the hardships that the Palestinian people endure in an occupation facilitated by US support of Israel.

3/31/04
Karen
I can't thank you enough for this series. I wish all American-born people would watch this - it's a great antidote to the idea that we are being "flooded" with people who only want to collect welfare and contribute nothing. How many of us could stand the emotional dislocation of immigration and the humiliation of having to take work far below our abilities and education? These people are enriching our culture.

I especially liked the Palestinian segment, since this group tends to be demonized in the U.S. and we only hear the other side. In fact, this Palestinian family has been lucky compared to most others I have met and stayed with in the West Bank - the situation there is beyond imagining for most Americans, and it is to our shame that the US has funded the dispossession of the Palestinians and the Occupation. It's hard to see how anyone there can remain sane, and indeed the young man who committed suicide did not, sadly.

Some people who have criticized the husband in the Palestinian story seem to have missed the fact that he was born here - it is his wife who is the immigrant. Like any American he has the right to complain about his own country.

3/31/04
Roger Balmer
Ault, Colorado
If we truly believe that "all men are created equal", there should be no such distinction as is made between legal and illegal aliens. The principles which made us a great nation are always being tested and have been since the founding of the nation. The immigration issue is one of the foremost that will make or break us in the eyes of the world in terms of our commitment to democracy and giving hope to the world for a future where diversity can work through enrichment of our culture and our national life but not at the expense of destroying personal philosophies and beliefs.

3/31/04
Kirtana Rahul
Thank you PBS for such a wonderful program!

I too am a FOB(fresh off the boat) or a first generation immigrant from India. But unlike the others on the series, our(my husband and my) journey here was smooth sailing. This was achieved, I think, because we are both well educated and I thank our homeland for that.

One thing this brings to my mind, is even though I empathize with the suffering of the people featured in the series, it is important to make sure that to keep America at the fore-front of science, technology, medicine, research etc we need to attract the best and brightest the world has to offer, not just the poor and weary.

3/31/04
B.
boston,ma
my story is a little different than the people in this film. I came from a life of privilege and i mean all the privilege a young girl could have. But i had to leave home with one large luggage full of clothes and memories. And start all over! Just like Them.

Anyway i could relate to these people.My story is also long ,very long.I'm an iranian.i've been in the US for over 17 years .Yes,i made it , since I had no other choice. But there is always that feeling of Void. It hits you sometimes, in certain moments. When i came here ,i was young.

Its easier when you are young and also when you dont have the responsibility of a family.This show should be on regular channels,so the average american instead of watching "the Bachelor" or "the apprentice" would be forced to watch this movie. PBS usually attracts the intectual people.

All i can say, is thanks PBS.

A very touching movie.

3/31/04
Elaine Meyrial
Westport CT
My husband came here from Europe to do graduate study and stayed. While he never had to endure the material hardships and the difficulty of getting work commensuate with his qualifications, he had to give up a culture and a country that he loved.

I teach ESL to hispanic immigrants in the evening, and I know that immigrants, whether they are legal or illegal, are the bravest people in the world. Most of us wouldn't have the courage to leave language, culture and country behind to make one's way in a foreign land.

Thank you for giving us just a small taste of the hardships that the Palestinian people endure in an occupation facilitated by US support of Israel.

3/31/04
Justin Matter
Ann Arbor, MI
I've lived my 28 years here in Michigan, where both of my parents were born, so I'm hardly an immigrant in the literal sense. My mom's mother was French Canadian; her father was Lebanese. My dad's family were European mutts - German, English, Irish, and Scots. It's fascinating watching this series as well as reading commentary from others about their experiences. I'm generally somewhat cynical about this country - especially its current leadership - despite loving the principles America was founded upon. Unfortunately, I often feel that we've lost sight of those ideals; freedom, tolerance, and democracy have become political buzzwords instead of real principles. But the stories of these people do resonate with hope, and that's a heart-warming thing. Having lived all my life here, I all too easily overlook some of the great aspects of American life that people come here seeking, and hopefully find.

3/31/04
Brittany
Orland Park Il
I am on Spring Break this week, and i was flipping channels, and i saw this show on pbs. I started watching it, and now i am hooked. It is so interesting about how these different families live. It gave me something to do for a few hours each night!

3/31/04
Atlanta,GA
I love the series and the unique perspective it offers on the real America in 2004. I only wish that the producers understood that in 2004 DVD is the standard medium of video reproduction not VHS. I would love to be able to support the work of the producers by purchasing the series but I am unwilling to buy a VCR for the privilege.

3/31/04
Bianchi Suarez
Charlottesville,VA
I have only been here ( in the US ) for 3 months and I already faced the problem of racism.

It is hard to leave the country one loves to come and "fight" with situations that in my case, were not a problem before.

Thanks PBS for this wonderfull program that allows other people to see some of the frustrations we as immigrants have to go through.

Some of us are not only here following the "american dream" but also and must important, following our american husbands or wifes that rather living here in their countries that back in a 3er world land.

Thanks again for making me think of how much I appreciate the country I came from and the family I have back there!!

PURA VIDA COSTA RICA!!

3/31/04
s davis
new york
Just finished watching the new americans. It is sad that people are forced to for whatever reason,poverty political or religious oppresion,have to leave there homelands. I am pleased that a country with all of its faults allows people to come and live, knowing there are many wrongs that need righting and we as human beings should never stop demanding that these wrongs be corrected,be that as it may people come every day in mass exodus from there homelands.I only wish that the family from nigeria who hates it here so much can have a speedy return to their home. I am a bit perplexed as to why they stay ,when she makes the comment she would only have to work one job in nigeria as opposed to working three here.I belive the brother when speaking to the obstertrician made a hateful comment about this country did I mis understand that their goverment is better now. I wonder what could possibly be holding them here in this terrible place when they have a lovely home to go back too.This question always come to my mind when speaking to certain immigrants who state how much more they have where they come from,what professionals they were back home, yet they work five and six minimum wage jobs here.I guess i'm just saying I dont understand the rational.To all of the people who are just trying to live and make it better for their families with all the cultural differences but realize this place is better than anywhere else, my heart goes out to them and i wish them all the best.

3/31/04
Mirna P.
Queens, NY
Thank you PBS for continuing to raise the standard in public television by continuing to raise public awareness in meaningful and important issues such as "The New Americans" series.

This series is particularly dear to me because my family faced similar joys and struggles as new immigrants from the Dominican Republic. Best wishes to all the new Americans and may they find a lifetime of happiness and prosperity in this great country.

All my best,
Mirna

3/31/04
I don't watch much TV but happened to come across this show. I cried almost every time one of the families cried. I only wish more Americans could watch this show, especially those living in wealthy metro suburbs, because particularly in these areas I believe that immigrants are not treated very well. Unfortunately those people who may feel strongest about NOT wanting to live close to immigrant communities etc are probably the least likely to watch this kind of program.

I feel strongly, by the way, that you should channel this publicity into a way to raise money for the New Americans. I believe many who watch this show would be willing to help these families financially, even if it's just $25. If you had had a link on this website for donating funds, I would have sent something for sure. I was also left wondering how I might be able to sponsor an immigrant family. I could hardly bear the disappointment of the Mexican family when turned down for visas after spending all that money for the trip. These are honest hard-working people. Unfortunately, of course, not all immigrants are that way. As they all realized, America is great but you have to work hard!

Terrific show.

3/31/04
Illinois
I saw myself in some of the inmigrants there. I was a lucky one. I came with a job and speaking the language but I cannot describe how lonely I felt and how sad I was for the first year, I remember feeling (like they did) excited and scared, hopeful and depressed. I have been here for more than 4 and I still dream about going to my country every day (I go once a year, thanks God!)

3/31/04
Martinez Family
South Milwaukee, Wisconsin
We stumbled on this program while channel surfing and we are hooked! This is a well made documentary. Sometimes we only have a stereotype of how and why people cometo this great country but we don't realize how much they go through when it comes to suffering and enduring the hardships. This makes me appreciate what my parents did to have me and sisters grow in the USA. Thanks

3/31/04
Carolyn Zaiser
Iowa City, Iowa
All I want to say is "outstanding"! The New Americans had me in smiles, laughter and tears all in the same show. Most especially thank you for showcasing Palestinians as well as helping others understand their plight in their homeland.

Kudos to you and may there be more like this to come!

3/31/04
Olubunmi
Burtonsville, MD
THANK YOU PBS!

3/31/04
Charity Flores
Topeka,Kansas
I watched the show with my whole family and we thought we understood because we too have struggled to keep our famiy together because my husband is from another country as well. This show gave many examples of many different cultures seeking the same thing, enrichment of life. Being an American I still had different thoughts about people coming here but THEY WORK SO HARD TO GET WHAT WE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF I'D LOVE TO HELP THEM ALL!!!!!!

 


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