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I am so wonderfully awed and overwhelmed by this series. The world is cruel and painful.
I want to thank everyone who was involved in this series, it has given me such a real perspective on life as an immigrant in the U.S., and it has inspired me in ways I don't even know yet.
I have been glued to the television for the past two days watching some of the things my family and I went through when we first arrived in America from Nigeria. I am proud of how the immigrants were portrayed, and I am proud of how they behave. Its good to be reminded of where I come from. I don't remember who, but I remember hearing someone say that "if you throw a Nigerian into a well, he/she will either climb out or find a way to survive in the well." I never realized what that meant until i watched The New Americans. The documentary allowed me to project myself onto the people I saw on the screen. It was also a good reminder of what really matters in Life, family. I thank God for the opportunity I have been given in America.
I have been a viewer of PBS for several years. Today was my first time watching your documentary due to a busy schedule.
I applaud PBS in presenting the realities of being an immigrant in this country. I cried with the Pedro family and leaned on the strength of Barine Wiwa-Lawani. I smiled and learned from the wisdom of Naima's mother, and related to the stigmas expressed by Nini, Ricardo and Jose.
This documentary shows the realities of the majority of immigrants- most of who have had to give up a lot to seek a better life in this country. The US does offer a lot - but one has to make significant sacrifices and be willing to face the challenges that come with it. The beauty of it all is that if you stick to your goals and remain focused, never losing sight of your goal, there will be some light at the end of the tunnel. It does get better.
In the immigrant community, it has been an accepted norm to never judge a person by their current job status in the US because you never know where he/she came from or what was been left behind.
Every "new American" has a story. Thank you PBS for making our stories reach a broader audience.
I am an immigrant myself and I think that these series capture fully our feelings, our way of thinking, our cultural experience when we come in America.
It reminded me of myself 10 years ago, when I was forced to leave my country. It really brought back painfull memories and I am sure it has touched a lot of people.
I am ordering the tapes because I want to be able to show them one day to my kids.
Thanks for this great job!
I only watched the the episode 2 and it was very moving and accurately represented the ups and downs that almost every immigrants go through in the United States. I am one of "them" and I have seen some posts where a gentleman posed a question as to who is going to pay for the healthcare of the U.S. citizens who are already here if we keep allowing more immgrants to come into the country? My simple answer to his question is , the "immigrants" are indeed paying for the healthcare of individuals who are unwilling to work hard and to get their hands dirty in the U.S. economy. I have not encountered any new americans who sit around and watch TV all day and not work, yet I see plenty of Americans born in this country milking the system via Welfare, fraud (Enron, Worldcom and the likes),unwilling to pump gas or work in a low paying dirty jobs. So the question to be asked is how can we learn from these hard working "new Americans" and incorporate thier work ethic into the mainstream society so we are all are productive and prosperous and share the burden on the system. If you further look deeply at the leading fortune 500 companies in the U.S. most are led by some immigrants or rather. These hard working immigrants are a tremendous contribution to our society and well-being. Examples, YAHOO, SUN MICROSYSTEMS and many many more I can't even begin to tell you.
I hope that America will stay open-minded and welcome the new Americans for the benefit of all. The protectionist mindset simply does not work in the global economy anymore. And as for outsourcing jobs overseas, please blame the greedy corporations not the hard working programmers in other countries. Do you think they are sitting on the couch all day and not concentrating on how to improve business processes and efficiency. They are hard at WORK. Blame the politicians and the greedy, not people who has to make a living.
Can't wait to see the Episode 3.
Newport News, Virginia
As simply as I can say, this show made me feel lazy, rich, selfish, greedy and a huge emptiness of loss of family in the USA. The family from Mexico has forever changed my life. one other thing that hit home with me was when Israel mentioned to his family, on the video they were watching, was how difficult it was to raise a child in the USA. I feel the same, which is why I have chosen not to have children. Us native Americans have a lot to learn from ALL of these beautiful people.
Watching The New Americans has been such a moving experience. I could relate to everyone of them and they taught me so much. My father struggled to bring his family to the US from Cuba in 1950. He was able to do it but he died when I was three. Now these New Americans have given me insight into what he went through. He died at work and the insurance allowed my mother to raise my brother and I comfortably. We have so much and our children have even more. God bless America for the hope and freedom it represents in the world. God bless the New Americans and those who shared their stories with us so beautifully.
i just watched the second series of the americans and i just went through a box of Kleenex. i'm an immigrant from kenya and have been living in dallas for about three and a half years. i came to the U.S to pursue further education. i'm the only member of my family here and my friends here are now my family. watching the program made me happy knowing there are people out there who want to communicate what it means to be an immigrant. there are many experiences we go through both good and bad. but i still thank God for giving me the opportunity to come here and true there are definitely some things such as good housing, transport and food. there are those times when i really get homesick but i believe we, immigrants can use the knowledge and experience we get from here to benefit our people back at home. kudos to PBS.
i live in olathe kansas i have four kids wife and my mother in law live with us i owne a construction co have about 30 employes watching your show on flores family from mexico was very moved buy there faith in god and strong family bond if they need sponser or job would be happy to help call me 913 915 6407 kansas needs good family,s
New York, NY
I deeply represent the blatantly pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel point of view you portrayed in your film. I was particularly offended by the the school play scene -- where you show a child on stage portrays an Israeli soldier kicking a Palestinian. Shame on PBS.
I was born in Canada to Nigerian parents; but spent most of my years growing up in Africa.
I believe this series by PBS is degrading, humiliating, and inhumane. The series paints all immigrants to be no more than beggars, or "thrash"!
This program by PBS is an absolute insult to every self-respecting immigrant out there.
All immigrants have been portrayed as beggars in this series. I doubt all immigrants come to America, (or any other country for that matter) looking for "hand-outs".
It is sad that the focus of this series seems to be to paint immigrants as a bunch of poor beggars.
Why focus on only one type/class of immigrant?!
The response by your viewers to "help the families" speaks for itself!
All immigrants are not poor beggars!
Shame on you PBS.
This is an absolute travesty.
Thank you PBS for providing a great educational profile about the life of the immigrants in the US. Only your organization is capable of demostrating the struggles of the immigrants and the real reasons why we migrate to this great contry.
Newport News, Va
I just finished watching night 2 of this series, and am enjoying it immensely. It's so important to get to intimately know the people behind a "foreign accent". We should be proud to have a local producer spend 4 years reviewing their lives & native culture. I would be honored to meet any of the featured immigrants, & will be purchasing the video to share with others.
Eric V. Strehl
What an inspiring series. It makes me truly thankfull for the small things that I take for granted. I will be graduating with a degree in spanish along with a consentration in business. I will be moving to charlotte, N.C. in May of this year. While I am North American, I did grow up in Costa Rica, and would like to use my billigual skills in the local area of Charlotte. Is there anyone out there with any information on how to do this? Thanks
Port St Lucie, Florida
I am enjoying the show as a whole, but I have to admit I am extremely disappointed in the biased viewpoint portrayed by the Palestinian segment. Was it really necessary for the frequent anti-Israel sentiments to be aired?? The family blames Israel for all of their hardships and tragedies, and states this over and over again, without any reference to the part Palestinians played in the past and continue to play today. The scenes showing the Mom crying over the death of her son, or the woman who rents the apartment crying over the atrocities visited upon them by the Israelis is nothing short of pro-Arab, anti-Israel propaganda. Shame on you.
Wow! This is an incredible show that I've tuned in to quite by accident. Thank you for a thoughtful portrayal of resilient families with great courage.
I hope part II includes some attention to the difficulties (racism, xenophobia, economics, immigration policy) that prevent these families from realizing their ambitions.
San Diego Ca
I found this mini series intriguing yet engulfed with such emotion that I couldn't even get up to get a glass of water. It was so captivating to me, because it helped me see how my grandfather from Mexico would have persued his American dream. It was like being in another country and being with them in their struggles. Thankyou for such an insightful perspective of immigrants to our country. I can tell you now my appreciation for my country is even more as well as how I see my fellow human being from another country struggle with our culture. Thanks to PBS in San Diego for such great programing.
I loved the "New Americans" series and found it to be thought provoking and emotionally unsettling (recognizing my own misconceptions of immigrants and reacting to the many hardships they faced knowing I've taken for granted the luxuries afforded by an education/stable employment). I can't wait to watch the next program. I plan to purchase the videos and use it as educator's tool with teens. Thanks again for a great program.
I want to say thankyou to PBS and the producers of the series for finally giving a voice to the new immigrants. I am a student at the University of St. Thomas and I can relate to the two young ladies in high school. I attended high school in St. Paul, MN and remember crying everyday after school when kids made fun of me.
My mom is a single parent supporting my little sister and I. I remeber asking her to take me to Old Navy to do school shopping know that she can't afford it, but not wanting to look poor in school. To fit in I change my and made everyone in school call my Katie. Even with that I couldn't change my accent or my past.
Like the immigrants in the movie my family have struggle with discrimination, difinition of our new roles, and making our American dream a reality.
I want to say thankyou to the immigrants in the movie for telling their story. I want to say thankyou for not being afraid of being yourself. I want to say thankyou for not forgetting where you come from. Finally, I want to say thankyou for believing that someday we can go home again.
Vernon, B.C Canada
Thank you for a great program. Although I now live in Canada. the feelings of the immigrant are universal. Moving to a new country with new rules, a new way of living. I could empathise with the people in the film and it brought back feelings that had been dormant for many years. thanks for a great presentation.
Watching "The New Americans" last evening was a truly powerful experience. The camera work and editing is outstanding, and so sensitive. We fell in love with the many real life heroes as they struggled to make it, to survive. Congratulations. My Dad, who had attended the University of London, came to this country in 1930 and drove a laundry truck for 9 years.
The story continues. Now there's an even more powerful wave of cultures pounding on the shores of America. Our city, Anchorage, won an All-America City award 2 years ago because of our grassroots Bridge Builders program that seeks to honor and respect people of all cultures who live here. There are 100 languages spoken in our schools. The goal is to create "the first city without prejudice." Perhaps Gita will visit us and do a follow-up on the positive responses in the US to the immigrant phenomenom that has made France, the UK and some other cultures appear more racist than we imagined.
Port Charlotte, FL
My family moved to the United States for impoverished Haiti in 1989. My parents decided to move and start over in this country in order to avoid the political chaos that was constant in the capital. Since we moved to the US, they had to work hard in order to establish themselves in this country. They were successful at that, and today my siblings and I have opportunities that our cousins in Haiti cannot even dream about. I had never thought about being an immigrant in this country, and the fact that it welcomes you as a person and gives you the opportunity to create your destiny, or better yet make your own variation of the American dream. This is a great program.
Daniel E. Smith
BRAVO QUALITY TV! I loved it! It's not going to make the world a better place, but it was interesting and well produced.
This may sound strange, but I too can relate to the hamburger experience. After about 10 days in Egypt we found a McDonald's in Luxor that was a nice change from what we have been eating; I think it saved a few people that were suffering from intestinal problems from the local food.
I hope to be an immigrant myself someday-maybe Botswana or Guatemala and I can't wait to see more of The New Americans.
This was one of the best programs I have ever seen. With an intimate and one of a kind view of the immigrant experience, I was very moved. I hope to see more of this program and hope to see many more like it. Wonderful!
The opening segment of the series was a major disappointment. Only the story of the Ogoni refugees gave us a real taste of the immigrant experience: the newness of the culture, the struggle to find work and maintain your dignity. I learned nothing from the Dominican ballplayers that I didn't already know as a baseball fan, and as people, they expressed little besides supreme selfishness (oh yes--and love of mom). As for the Palestinian refugee, all we got was shameful propaganda about the abuses and hardships her people had to put up with under Israeli occupation, while on the screen we saw what appeared to be a comfortable, middle-class family whose women were free to dress and go where they please (unlike most of the Arab world). I'm taping the rest of the series so I can see how the Ogonis fare and skip the tales of the selfish and privileged.
What a wonderful, insightful, thought provoking, emotion generating program. It isn't often I end a night of TV watching with the feeling that my time was well spent but last night I truly felt that I not only enjoyed the program but actually learned something important about the struggles and bravery of immigrants. The program also made me realize how lucky I am to have been born in a country that so many are willing to risk everything to reach.
I've always acknowledged that the US was built by immigrants but must admit that I've harbored the small minded belief that immigrants just waltz in here and either take away jobs from Americans or take advantage of welfare. This program totally dispels that myth. I will never look at an immigrant the same way again. In fact, the program has prompted me to consider ways of helping these people acclimate.
Thanks to everyone involved in this project.
This show is my new favorite! With all the negativity towards the U.S., seldom do we hear stories of people wanting to come and live in Amreica. I enjoyed hearing the dreams of Israel Nwidor as he spoke of how excited he was to be moving to America. Rarely have I heard such passion and unadulterated hope in another human being's voice. I cried for his wife Ngozi, struggling with the emotional effects from all of their tragedies and trying to work and study and adapt to a new culture. Israel really came through like an American Dad by taking on extra chores around the house to help his wife. I absolutely loved Um-Mujahed--full of spunk and strength after all she has been through in her life. She is someone I would love to have dinner with. And Naima and Hatem--struggling through the normal challenges of planning a marriage and a new life together; all the while dealing with the un-normal conditions of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. This show has inspired me to find ways to reach out to the immigrant community and volunteer my time. I can't wait for the other episodes. Thanks again, PBS, for another great masterpiece.
I loved the show!!! The story of the Ogoni family particulary touched my heart. My parents come from Nigeria and are periodically telling about the situation in that country. To see it for myself was just horrible. Thank God that this family was able to come here. I was just in awe about how selfish we can be sometimes...having all this opportunity and still wantig more, when there are people in the world that have nothing at all, nothing to hope for. Thanks again and I look forward to more touching stories.
I too was flipping the channels and came upon this program and was glue to the tube.
Kudos to PBS for showing this type of program. I've been reading the "talk back" section and am happy to see that most are positive for this program.
I would like to respond to some of the commentators.
America is made on the backs of Immigrants. I understand when itĚs disconcerting when foreigners say we are racist, but let's face the truth, we are. We tell other countries that USA is the best, and that we're #1. The media/entertainment business has shown the outside world if you want freedom to pursue your dreams, and make a lot of money, come to America. If it was easier to stay in their country and make a decent buck, do you think they would be here? They are pursuing the same dream as most Americans are trying to do, which is, make enough money to live comfortably and retire peacefully. I tried to live in Dominican Republic, and had to come back. We have it so much easier just having water and electricity every day. We are fortunate that if we didn't have these basic everyday things, we could get assistance from the government.
And FYI, a family member usually asks for immigrants. If the person doesn't make enough money, he/she has to find a person to "guarantee" that this immigrant will not be a hardship to the government.
So yes, it's annoying when they use our country, mock and criticize US, but who are we to talk when we do the same thing. Thank you PBS for sharing this program with US.
I have to admit that I was also taken aback by Hatem Abbudayeh's comment about America being the most racist nation in the world, especially given the context of a documentary about how people are leaving their homelands for a better life in America. However, I choose to give Hatem the benefit of the doubt. By his own admission, he has only recently discovered his Arab heritage, and having the exuberance the new believer, I think he was dismayed to find his fellow Arabs seemingly defeated by years of living under oppression. In that context, his comment was more of a dialectical device. While I acknowledge that racism does exist in America, I do not believe it to be the "most racist nation in the world." I think the relatively unique situation we experience here where cultures reside juxtaposed to one another inevitably produces friction; but I am encouraged that the majority of Americans are in this day and age striving to overcome their own prejudices, and I believe we will continue to do so.
Unlike a few other viewers, I do not believe that the Palestinian story was "propaganda". This was just a presentation of the reality of the common man in the midst of political conflict--a reality that has left millions of people displaced from their homes, their property, and their ancestral claims. This is a story that I'm afraid we too often ignore here in the U.S. given the rhetoric of our "War on Terrorism." The Israeli/Palestinian conflict is a very complex issue. Let's please not dismiss an entire people because of the desperate tactics of a radical minority.
I wish the new immigrants good luck. I'm looking forward to the next episode.
La Crosse Wi
Bravo!! I am delighted I tuned in. The stories were private lives involved in great drama I dont think I could face their dilemmas
A wonderfully entertaining, and enlightening show. I will be sure to have my children watch the remaining shows. Many 5th and 6th generation Americans, including myself, seem to have lost our perspective on being an American. We have lost touch with the trials and sacrifices our families have made that made the lives we enjoy today possible. I admire these "New American's" and I'm deeply moved by their stories. I believe that only the "New American's" can truely appreciate what they are going through but we are all better for knowing about it. Thanks for a wonderful experience.
Moncton NB Canada
Congratulations on airing one of the finest documentaries on television. I usually watch the CBC news at that time to find out what some OLD Americans are doing to our world but The New Americans is a series that restores my faith in the US. You are capable of this kind of intelligent compassion with people who could contribute a lot of heart to your country if only allowed to LIVE in peace. Please share your vast wealth with newcomers. Thank you PBS. You deserve my support.
Loved the 'New Americans' show, but thought Hatem Abudayyeh's remark about America being the most racist country in the world, uncalled for (not to mention ungrateful), especially considering the rampant racism, sexism, and xenophobia coming from the Middle East.
Overall, I'd say America has done a pretty good job of assimilating peoples of other races, nationalities, cultures, and religions. For example, Abudayyeh's family seems to be doing pretty well.
I loved the program,but it would have looked better if you had made a small intro before each segments. To me I got confuse between those "fragments of art". A letter like back to D.R., Africa or Israel could had done a big difference.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the first episode of "The New Americans," and am eagerly awaiting the next installments.
I am an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages)teacher at a high school here in Tampa, FL. I have taught Nigerian, Palestinian, and Dominican teenagers -- as well as children from many other countries.
I saw in those people's faces, the faces of my students; heard in their stories fragments of my students' stories. My students and their families are working hard to become a productive part of America. They want to succeed and make their lives better here.
For the most part, the immigrants featured in the "The New Americans" met up with people in America who were accepting and helpful. It was a telling moment, though, when Ricardo sat down to eat with the other members of the Dodgers and one young man --obviously unaccustomed to meeting people unlike himself -- said, "JUST SPEAK ENGLISH!" and continued to offhandedly make comments about Ricardo's language skills. This happens all the time to my students! I doubt that the young man in question really believed he was being rude and insensitive -- but how it bothered me!!
Again, thank you for a wonderful series.
I caught this show last night about 15 minutes into the program. It was amazing. I have never heard anything in the media giving voice to the Palestinian version of the conflict. Those people and their pain was so very real to me and I could not help but feel guilty for all the things I, as an American, take for granted each day. I am especially rooting for Ngozi the Nigerian an her husband. They have such dignity and honor about them..I cried like a baby when she passed the test. Thanks for another wonderful program and for opening my eyes.
The New Americans was the best thing I have seen anywhere in many years. I was so moved and interested and praying all the way through that my country would welcome and help these people who I consider wonderful and charming. I was afraid that we(America)would come off as terrible people,eating our junk food and being generally unrefined. So far my country people have been fairly good hearted but each moment I wait for the other shoe to drop. Can't wait to see more and more and wish the networks would show it,over and over.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
I was just flipping through the channels and came upon this program and I couldn't stop watching once I had started. It was incredibly moving and it made my heart break. I was born here and I often take it for granted and it was amazing to see the struggle people must go through to get here. As I watched I found myself feeling guilty about taking my life for granted and I found myself wanting to help. Thank you for opening my eyes and my heart.
This was one of the best programs I have seen in a while. But as usual PBS always have great programs. I am a jamaican immigrant and could identify with alot of the struggles that other immigrants endure. Anyway God has been good to my family and I. Can't wait to tune in for the next episode.
Thanks for the great programming.
I was happy to see the program. It is a pity the picture america has created out there can be deceptive.I was also sad to see how ignorant most americans are towards new people's background and culture. The truth is east /west, home is still the best place.Remove prosperity and America would be just like any other nation and most likely people would move out. It is not all that! I pray for those immigrants that they will understand they can make it anywhere on earth even in sahara. Life is not about cars, houses fat/ food and selfishness. Life is more than that.
This doc is... touching, poignant, utterly extraordinary. Working with Refugees/immigrants in America is something that I've always taken an interest in... I previously tutored Hmong families in Northern CA, and came to see what a struggle it is to relocate. How invisible culture, family, and belief systems are, you cannot see them, but they are as stone.
I have made my living as a "temporary immigrant". I have lived in S.Korea, China, and in 3 weeks, I will be relocating to Istanbul, Turkey, to teach English. While in Korea, especially, I was always drawn to the Mongolians, the Russians, the Pakistanis and Nigerians who were not fortunate enough to teach like I could. I remember going to get my work visa, and being allowed to walk right through the process, breezing past a line of Pakistanis, who were made to wait there... My eyes were not eloquent enough to tell them, to say, how sorry I was. How I did not deserve better treatment than they...
Even though my job and position were pretty cushy, it was still hard, hard, hard to live alone in another country without benefit of family or a comfortable framework. However, I am doing it again (must be crazy!:) going to Turkey. This documentary has really put things in perspective for me...
A facet of human life that is the utter brilliance of human resiliancy, dream making, and desire for a better life. I will take these stories with me as I begin, an American Immigrant (for now) in Istanbul.
I've just seen the first part of the series and I absolutely loved it! I spent the last two years working in Houston, TX as an Immigration Counselor, helping refugees and other immigrants from around the world. I see the faces and experiences of my clients truly reflected in this series. Everyone in the US should see this. Many people, including some in my own family, believe that refugees are brought to this country and just handed everything they need or want. Just the opposite- they must work twice as hard, not only earning a living, but breaking through language and culture barriers, and helping support family members left behind in their home countries.
I just can't express enough how true to life this film is. I hope everyone who watches is able to better understand and appreciate the experiences of immigrants and the valuable contributions they make to our country.
Canoga Park CA
The story was "life changing" Great documentary -watching these people trying to overcome great obstacles to live abundantly.It made me humble and grateful!
I can't imagine going to a new country, learning the language, going to school, only to get a better paying job...It was hard to watch!
It's a must see of our young students.
I was deeply moved by last nights show segment on Palestine & Nigeria families and dificult transitional changes into this country I would like to become a volunteer for one of the companies that sponsored this very real & poniant production these topics must stay visible to change things and support all of our brothers & sisters over the world. Please send me a list of companies if possible to contacted. Thank you for your constant & excellent programming choices.
What a great show. It is an education for the older immigrants who have no idea what immigration is really like. It is interesting that the three nations profiled are all nations that the U.S has had either explicit or implicit imperial relationships with: Palestine; the Dominican Republic and Nigeria (through its savage association with Shell oil). (Of course it is hard to find places on the map these days that the U.S has not had imperial relationships with!) This is one big reason why people are forced out of their homelands, demoted in their careers and then expected to work for almost nothing in the U.S; then older immigrants, in all sincerity, ask them what are they "willing to give to America?!!" This will open up the eyes to many older immigrants who have been educated deliberately into geo-political ignorance by the U.S educational system and media, so it is no wonder that some people have already become angered by it.
I watched New Americans last night. I had expected a program that was either about the joys or difficulties that people wishing to become Americans experience.
Instead, I saw at least ten minutes of unmediated Palestianian propaganda.
I am well aware of the sorrows of the refugee community and do not wish to have every forum turned into an attack on Israel.
Who funded this? What was the actual agenda here? I don't think that the ten minutes or so out of the entire program that consisted of "hate-Israel" message appeared in this show by chance. Do you?
There are forces in the world that are far more malign than Israel; that Americans have no knowledge of. Perhaps next time you might focus on them.
James E. Lynch
I would like to congratulate Gita Saedi on a masterpiece. We enjoyed every minute of it and it opens one's mind to what these poor people must go through just to arrive here. All of us are immigrants and often we look down on the less fortunate. We forget that just a short time ago, our families were experiencing the same problems. The documentary exposed the emotions of all concerned and left me, the viewer, with a greater tolerance and understanding of what they must endure. Gita, it is my hope that more Americans will see your story. It will go a long way in erasing the prejudices which exist today. We wish you continued success and we thank you for the most interesting two hours spent in a long time.
Sun Valley, CA
I was deeply moved by your program. My parents came to this country in 1972 from Nigeria. Thes collection of personal stories reprsent the changing face of the immigrant population in this country. The program also shows what this country represnts to so many people across the world. I was particularly interested in your piece about the Ogoni family from Nigeria. Please continue to create these types of intelligent, insightful programs about the changing face of American society.
Thank you so much.
I want to thank PBS profusely for the New Americans series. My parents brought me to Texas from Mexico when I was only 6 years old. I am now 24 years old and have been a citizen since 2001. Watching this series has given me a strong sense of identity as a Mexican immigrant. It is very difficult to be an immigrant because I'm not Anglo-American but Im not entirely 'Mexican' either. This series has shown me that it is ok to be a hybrid Mexican and that it is good to retain both our cultural traditions even though people around us may not understand or approve. I wanted so bad to talk to the families on the series and tell them it would all turn out fine. I am returning to college this summer to pursue a Bilingual Elementary School Teaching Certification, I feel that at last I am pursuing the profession my Daddy brought us to this country to pursue-- I am looking forward to educating Hispanic children as bilingual teachers once educated me when I had just arrived to the US. Thank you for recognizing and exposing the difficult and yet rich life of immigrants to this country.
Great program, I was glad to see another show from the Hoop Dreams producer. Loved the Dominican segment. Under the music category, there should definitely be a listing of some Bachata or Son, as Dominican music is so much a part of their lifestyle.
Keep up the good work.
This series is truly insiteful. It offers a close look at the perils that people go through just to get to the United States. Hopefully families who watch this will begin to have meaningful discussion about other people's lives.
I cried last night after watching how hard immigrants have it. I found it sad how people who are recognized as doctors, lawyers, and architects in their home countries come to the United States to work in hotel kitchen's for barely minimum wage.
I understand that even after generations of trying to get a piece of that American dream, our young people are are still struggling. Like Hatem Abbudayeh said on the show, "The United States is the most racist country in the world." I completely agree.
I briefly volunteered with one of the organizations that helps resettle refugees in America. I taught a job skills class to several Bosnian families. It is truly a delight to work with these people.
I have found it disheartening that there are barriers for them with regard to job. They come from respectable jobs and yet are put in jobs that are way below their skill level.
I would love to see a structured program developed to assure the proper ESL programs combined with job development/education programs are available. That is vital to their success in America. The children are truly blessed for their parents sacrifice. They are able to enter the public school system and attain continuous education. I have seen firsthand that the children have learned more with their opportunity while the parents are struggling to accomplish the same without an array of structured resources available to them.
One other observation I had was the fact that they are introduced to fast food restaurants. I am concerned that they trade their traditional fare for the much more unhealthy American fare. I am wondering if they are counciled on the nutritional difference in American food. As an American, I hate that I have grown up on, and am addicted to, American food that is probably one of the most unhealthy types out there.
By viewing this series, I am motivated more than ever to locate an organization for volunteering in the area that I have just moved to. Does anyone know of an organization in Nashville, TN that helps resettle refugees?
Salt Lake City UT
I watched the first episode yesterday, and I just want to thank PBS for such inspiring stories, as an immigrant I can relate to all the stories and I agree with the general ideas those immigrants have about the USA. That is very hard, sometimes we fell unwelcomed, and at the time everybody is so nice to us (specially in UT)that our families in our countries beleive we are here making a lot of money and they expect our help, that puts a lot of pressure on us. Furthermore, there are many immigrants who have studied, and graduated from universities and are perfoming low-paid jobs.
1. Because me and daughter are from a small country in South America,(Chile) there are no holidays, or cultural traditions we can share with others, therefore, we have been joining the Mexican celebrations, since it's the closests to our culture in America, we learnt how to speak "Mexican"!.
2. It would help a lot to keep contact with one's culture since it reminds us who we are, and why we lelt our country, and what we are looking for....the cultural shock, has to be new year's eve, I come from a place where it is one of the most family oriented, big-celebration in the year,where everybody parties and have fun, here in Salt Lake City, parties last until 1:00 am, it's illegal to distribute alcohol after midnight and it's middle of the winter, nobody is out......The best way I found to copy with that, was to go to bed early and forget a whole country down south is celebrating and having fun without us....
3.YEs, I'ts nice to know that I'm part of this social phenomenon, and I can relate to any of the immigrants that I meet everyday....
Again, thanks for those inspiring stories.
Thank you, for this wonderful program. However, I hope that some time in the future you will also feature immigrants, like myself who do not require assistance when they come to the US.
I came over here from England 6 years ago, very qualified and very experienced in IT, and I have continued to be successful. The barriers that I have faced are definately home-sickness and culture shock, but also prejudice and hostility as I continue to move upwards in my career and acquire the things that are associated with the American Dream. I came here to create my own life the way my parents did when they moved to England from Nigeria. English is my first language and I got a well-paid job before I moved out here and I pay a lot of taxes, but now I'm seriously thinking about returning home because the American people are so hostile and vindictive.
I feel sorry for those immigrants who don't feel that they can return home, and are trapped here in horrible lives that they hate, surrounded by people who have no respect for them and I wish them all the best. I hope this is a better place for their children.
I am a French immigrant and I teach in a non profit organization teaching English to new immigrants and refugees...I know that some of them have very sad stories but they are so cheery and hopeful that it is hard to think of what misery they've encountered in their lives.
I saw the first part of this serie and I thought it was great! I can't wait fo rtonight to see the next show!
I was moved by your show. I am an immigrant from the Caribbean and while my experiences here have been good, I can relate to the familes just coming to America and having to learn everything about the culture. Imagine having a hamburger for the first time...those are things that "we" take for granted. Being a chemical engineer and having to work in a restaurant. I know how hard it is leaving your country and everything that you're familiar with. Where I live I don't know one other person from the Caribbean except two family members and I am lucky because I have them. This series has made me more in tune to the difficulties that immigrants face wherever they go. I would use my experiences as a yardstick and think that everyone was as fortunate as I was. You've really made a difference with your series ans I am rooting for all the NEW IMMIGRANTS.
I absolutely loved the documentary. It is true quality TV.
Thank you for your hard work and wonderful stories of those who appreciate what we take for granted, opportunity and freedom. PBS is truly the best reality channel TV has to offer . . . a life time of learning. New Americans is a must keep. Congratulations!
I think your series has done a phenomenal job depicting the culture shock new immigrants face living in America. In particular, I was impressed with the Onabi families ability to eloquently cope with certain situations. I watched a full hour and a half and not once did I lose interest.
WOW, just saw the first episode and I must say it has to be one of my favourites. It humbling really and gives me perspective on serious issues like the palenstine situation. Im no immigrant but I was 3 when I came here (Canada, Its much easier here in Canada and our health care system is free and immigration policies superior to the u.s.)
But I DO remember how hard it was for my family to survive, we too started in a 1 bedroom apartment but my parents worked hard and went to school to eventually become nurses and worked their way up to become specialized ones.
I'm now enjoying life in an upper class suberbia but my heart really does go to these families and teared up when I saw it, and I'm GLAD its a series because I want to see each one of these people succeed and live fruitful and happy lives.
We watched the program tonight. We were very impressed with the Ogoni family from Nigeria. With their attitude, background, & values of family & religion they should do well here. Probably any where they would go. The Dominican Republic baseball players were less interesting as they are only after the money. The Palestinian story we felt was tending towards propaganda for the Palestinian issue. If all the homes in Jerusalem had been appropriated by the Israelis how is it that this young man had managed to hang on to his ancestral home? Furthermore, we did not appreciate him telling a group of his Palestinian friends that the USA was the 'most racist country in the world'. He didn't seem to have any such problems here in Chicago as he had many friends of ethnic diversity on his basketball team. Also, we NEVER heard him say one good thing about America. Perhaps he should move to another country. He doesn't look like he is suffering here from the looks of his new car, home, & frequent trips to Jerusalem.
One of PBS's better series. But the story is not in the immigrants, illegal and legal, it is in the selective eye of the many foreign tv crew. It is 1000% geared to make us feel sympathy for the struggles of the immigrants. I especially liked Israel from Nigeria, but I felt incredibly sad that so far in the first series, not ONE person has shown any idea of something that they would like to GIVE to this country; most of them wish to make it here and go back home. So far, at least in the first episodes, no one is thrilled to become an American. Shame on the crew for their voyeuristic point of presentation.
It was suggested that I watch the New Americans for an extra credit assignment for my class and I am glad I did. The spirit of each set of people is profound and inspiring. I was born and raised in NYC and now truly see the liberties we as Americans take for granted. God Bless these people and those they leave at home. May God reward all their sacrifice with success and unite us all in the struggle to excel.
What an excellent segment!
As an immigrant myself, I have to say, you have captured the lives and thoughts of these "new Americans" very well. Life in the US indeed is very difficult but I'm thankful for the freedom and opportunity. This great country is built upon the dedication, hard work, and dreams of immigrants.