New Americans Cultural Riches Take The Quiz
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3/30/04
Ofunne Obiamiwe
Los Angeles, California
What can I say? "The New Americans" had my chest congested, my nose sniffling and my eyes pouring. It strengthened my conviction that diversity should be celebrated rather than avoided. It makes us all richer in spirit. The featured immigrants may have come from different parts of the globe but one thing was universal: their pursuit of a better life not only for themselves but also for their families.

Thank you to PBS and to the brilliant filmmakers for continuing to remind us that there's more to life than French fries and cosmetic surgery. Countless people around the world are simply trying to survive.

3/30/04
Lupita Figueiredo
Oakland, California
I am very touched by this series. It is making me think about how little we know about our neighbors. How little we know about they suffering, their pain, their lost.

In our selfishness, Wwe live so worried about our own future, often forgetting that millions of others have more important worries.

I am glad this docummentary exists, and can give us the opportunity to reflect about others, and hopefully, to let us think that we are all human beings, and that we need to help each other.

We know so little about it each other and yet we are all here, under the same country, welcomed and unwelcomed, embraced and rejected, it all depends and how lucky we get to be around people who care.

3/30/04
Catie Bizon
Canby, Oregon
Wow!

I lived on a farm which employed migrant workers most of my adolescent life and was so naive about what these men left behind to come to the U.S. to earn a more money for their families back home.

As an adult I now know, but I am still amazed and inspired by the wonderful spirit and faith of these people of all backgrounds and faith who have such courage and resolve to be such pillars for their families.

They are truly examples to us all!

I will look forward to every episode of New Americans from here on out.

Thank you,
Catie Bizon

3/30/04
Shirley Filion
Hull Quebec
I have just watched the first episod of the new americans. It has been I very long time since television programming has touched me so deepely. I am a 28 year old canadian who really thought that I knew what I had here (in Canada), being in a free country, but I never realized just how much people elsewhere might and do have to go through to have a part of what I and mostly everyone in my family and around me take so much for granted. I thank you so very much for producing and showing this wonderful enlightement that unfortunately is still needed. I honestly thought that I was more aware of different situations around the world and immigrants strugles for freedom but my eyes were closed to many things even in 2004. Thank you once again.

3/30/04
hale' lynn guerra
san francisco, california
i am so glad for this program. i don't watch much tv but this was worth it. i am not an immigrant but most my friends are - and i am so glad this series was made so that the majority of americans born here can get a small glimpse as to what immigrants in america go through. it is so important to for mainstream americans to see this series. it validated many of my feelings about this country and the hardships people endure here, whether born here or struggled to get here. i know that everyone thinks the streets are paved in gold and that all is easy and well. and i am glad for the accurate portrayl of life here for most americans and new americans.

3/30/04
Erik Kramer
San Diego, CAlifornia
I never cried with such joy and sorrow in one program. I have great hurt for the people showcased in your stories, the pain and struggle they face and the undying love of/for their families. It made me think of the immigrants I see around me and wonder about their journey. We are all immigrants in some way or another. Thanks for this wondeful program which is enlightening and educational.

3/30/04
Harriet
This was by far the best educational program I have seen to date on the struggles of immigrants in this country. As a child of immigrant parents myself, I felt like I was watching my own family's history and experiences play out on the screen. More programs like these are needed to educate people on what it is like to be an immigrant and what the experience, and difficulties with language, culture shock, and finding work are really all about.

3/30/04
Lauren
Castle Rock CO
As an educator who has struggled to give upper middle class kids a sense of what immimgrants experience, I was astounded and gratified by the program that PBS has put together. We "established Americans" so quickly forget our recent past, including our immigrant ancestors, that many of my students, when asked to put together a family tree, including countries of origin, of 3 generations, can only come up with "United States" as a background. The struggles and especially the emotions of the families in the series are the best connecting point for students--to see that "foreigners" experience the same feelings any of them have. I hope that many educators will be inspired to share this program with their students, no matter what their subject specialty is. It is a suberp tool to begin to understand America's history and the culture of discrimination that exists in today's middle class.

3/30/04
Maxine Young
New York, New York
As a former teacher of ESL, I was often in contact with immigrants who had just come to this country. In my classroom I dealt with homesickness and culture shock on a daily basis. Sometimes the sadness, loneliness, and longing for acceptance in my students' eyes was heart breaking, but the triumphs and happy times cancelled all of the bad ones put together.

I also found that people dont have to be from the same country or cultural background to find solace in one another- my students were from several different countries and they all helped and encouraged one another.

I find that my studetns notice and take seriously so much that I, as an American often take for granted- my students many times ended up teaching me, and I appreciated every minute of it.

Even though my parents are immigrants and I am only a 1st generation american, it was through my students I learned the most.

I have the deepest respect and the highest hope for not only my students, but all of the other immigrants in this country who have fought teeth and nail to come to this country and provide better lives for themselves and their families. Best of luck- and dont give up!

Thank you for this wonderful program.

3/30/04
Shannon B.
Kansas City, Missouri, US
Though "The New Americans" was quite enlightening and the immigrants' stories sympathetic, I can't help but think this: If the U.S. doesn't start limiting the number of immigrants we let into this country, the USA will rapidly turn into another 3rd World, overpopulated country. Our envied quality of life is severely threatened (by illegal as well as legal immigrants). We simply do not have the resources to educate, feed, house, and provide medical care to all these people from poverty-stricken nations. How we can we take in all these people when we don't take good enough care of our country's less fortunate as it is? At this rate, our beautiful, open spaces will become like Africa or India in no time--enough to send shivers. Notice nobody wants to immigrate to those places?Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, but that was generations ago when we needed my great-grandparents in order to prosper. The USA now has enough people to sustain itself. My view may be politically incorrect, but shared by more than you think. Thank you.

3/30/04
Carol Caplon
Denver, Colorado
My husband and I watched this program on 3/29, and were appalled to see what appeared to be an ad for American Express in a U.S. government pamphlet purporting to instruct potential immigrants. More upsetting were the words spoken by an Ogoni woman: "in America, if I run out of cash, I just use my credit card". Who taught her this? I think there is a serious disconnect between what we believe ourselves and our country to be, and the reality of what we allow our proxies (Shell, Shearson-Leamon, Monsanto)to present to the rest of the world. Watching Israel and Ngozi (sp?)slaving away at menial jobs in Chicago reminded us that it's easy to make assumptions about someone in a uniform doing some crappy job, but that you never know who might be pushing that cart or broom, and that it isn't so hard to say Hello.

3/30/04
Gabriel Mejia
San Antonio, TX
Bravo, PBS!!

3/30/04
Kristina Hengl
chicago IL
All I can say is thank you.

I was so touched by these stories, that I spent most of the show in tears. I'm at a loss for words. Thank you to everyone involved. PBS truly is a "window to the world"

3/30/04
All I can say is thank you. What a phenomenal program. As a native of Chicago, I was deeply moved by the stories of the two families who came to start their lives here. They represent the untold stories of thousands more families who I pass by day every day on the subway or on the street. I feel inspired to volunteer and become more involved in the amazing community that I'm a part of.

3/30/04
Hanan
CHICAGO
I LOVED THIS SERIES KEEP IT UP !!!

I loved all of it, from Nigerians to Palestinians , Dominicans and where ever else..

Wonderful series

3/30/04
David Hogan
Cleveland, Ohio
This first episode left me wanting more. I was drawn in and captivated by the diversity of the storylines and the richness of the people in the program. I felt that in one way or another, I could relate to every story. I felt an especially strong tie to the Nigerian refugee family, that now lives in Chicago. I look forward to viewing the remainder of the program. This is truly "Must-see TV!"

3/30/04
Deirdre
Bethel, CT
I watched with interest your show on the New immigrants but I felt as someone who was born here, loves it, but also has struggled to work, raise children and pay my own way through college that the American experience can be equally hard. The African mother expresses frustration with not having family here to help with her kids. My family is very emotionally supportive but when I was a single mom, working weekends, going to school full time and supporting my son without child support, it was me who had to take my son to daycare, pay for it, pay for my college,try to scrape two nickels together to buy juice,diapers - all this on very little sleep after staying up many nights doing homework. And I knew other Americans doing the same thing. Our parents are working to pay for their lives, and especially to cover the costs of medicine ($1000.00/month) therefore they can't take care of our children for us.

I also noticed that the majority of graduate students in my dorm not only received full tuition from their country's government, but also received a stipend for their families as well. Most of these students had cars, spending money, etc. I biked everywhere and transported my son on the back of my bike to daycare. I couldn't finish because I couldn't afford the tuition and am consequently making a little over minimum wage to help support my family. I still have hope that I will finish college one day - yes, I too believe in the American dream and I don't take our freedom for granted either. We are one of the few countries who welcome so many different people with open arms and hearts.

3/30/04
Niki
Montreal, Canada
Bravo PBS on a producing such as wonderful documentary. The New Americans reminds us that we all want the same things in life: freedom, happiness, good health and opportunities for our children.

I was touched by each and every story, but especially by the young Palestinian bride who wept on the night before her departure to America. Despite, their anticipation and joy to come to North America, they are sad to leave home and many actually want to return after only having been in America for a few months. I've witnessed this in my own family.

This is reality TV at it's finest. Keep up the good work.

3/30/04
Adrienne
Growing up in NYC I was always surrounded by new immigrants. My parents themselves came to the US from Ireland in the 60's. I have an aunt, an Irish immigrant obviously, whom is quite racist to the new groups of Hispanics/Pakistanis/Indians who have settled in the once very Irish neighborhoods of Woodside and Sunnyside in Queens. It makes me sick how easily people forget that they were once themselves in the same position. The stories of these immigrants are so captivating I could not get up from the TV. Every American who complains about immigrants needs to watch this show and realize what these people go through to come here. The majority of immigrants I have ever had the pleasure to work with or be friends with are very admirable and hard working. This country is lucky to have them , and I wish them all the best in life.

3/30/04
Renee Y. Bundy
Indianapolis, Indiana
Born and raised in Long Branch, New Jersey-somewhat multi-cultural area. I am a 38 year old Black woman and my family and I have participated in a number of other cultural events due to different races within my own family. We not only welcome this but see this as a blessing. Regarding resettleing I believe its nice to be able to have contact with people of your own cultural but important to embrace the culture of the new country you are in. I think it will do more harm than good to go to a new country and segregate yourself with your own culture within that other country. One may become idle(comfortable) and not grow. I was in the military for 6 years. During Basic Training and AIT, I was certainly homesick like crazy. As far as a culture shock. Not sure if I've had that. I was stationed in Richmond, Indiana (predominantly white area) coming from being stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison a big city (pretty much mixed in the races). during my short time in Richmond, Indiana there were only a handfull a Black woman in my Unit and I remember there were no Black beauty salons in Richmond, Indiana to get my hair done. Had to go to Dayton, Ohio or Indianapolis, Indiana and never could find black magazines like Jet or Essence, had to get those from Indy as well. But more importantly everyone in my Unit and the people in general in Richmond, Indiana were a bunch of really nice folk. They were warm and always very friendly. It was just so boring to me coming from Jersey. Immigrants - I'm cool with immigrants, I just believe of course security should always be of the highest quality and after that immigrants should know we are baseball and bluejeans.

Meeting the New Americans was a wonderful documentary and I look forward to next weeks episode. It was interesting seeing other cultures up and close and personal.

Keep up the wonderful work and may God Bless you all.

RYB

3/30/04
Jessica Acosta
I would like to tell all of the families of the series that I am deeply touched by all of their lives. I feel like you are a part of my family and I want you all to have the best experience possible in the United States. Unfortunately, I know that it is not always possible. I just want you to know that there are people here that sincerely care about you and wish a wonderful life here. Email me if you need anything,or if you just want a pen pal.

3/30/04
M Kim G
Jacksonville FL
In todays more zenophobic atmosphere, it is easy to forget that beyond nationality and politics, we are are bonded by our human experience. The New Americans strongly showed how we all, from all backgrounds, want the same things in life.

3/30/04
NY
Awesome show. Probably one of my all time favorites. Really captured the human spirit well and conveyed these peoples emotions in a way in which the audience can empathize with them. Each story is moving and inspiring. Two of those which stood out in particular were; the hope and aspirations of Israel and Ngozi, and yet their humbleness was compelling. The story of Hatem and Naima was indeed saddening, seeing the conditions a beautiful people are being subjected to for so long. Their lack of hope for the future is frightening.

Being an immigrant myself, it just brought back a lot of memories of the sorts of emotional hurdles one goes through when leaving their country of origin - love for your own land is an extremely strong, and a very basic human feeling - but the desire to better your life is also as integral, and the conflict which arises between the two is a hard one to overcome. I would like to congratulate the team who put this program together on doing an exceptional job, and hope to see further programs like this in the future

3/30/04
Patrick Bayer
Buffalo, NY
I am a Senior college student at the University at Buffalo and I found this film to be extremely powerful and impressive, all the stories of these people. Watching it makes me want to help welcome them to a country that they come in thinking is a 'heavenly place' but find out that it can be extremely difficult even with all the freedoms. I plan on looking into a way I might help new immigrants adapt and feel welcome because so many Americans and people in general can be extremely unwelcoming. The world is a place for everyone. No land should be forbidden from anyone else. Thanks again for "The New Americans".

3/30/04
Jennifer Milton
I grew up in Texas, but have had the opportunity to travel to South America and Europe. This program is excellent and I enjoyed the passion and honesty of which it's told. The struggles and challenges that many new Americans must endure would take any born-American by surprise.

After traveling to various destinations in this world, realizing the richness that each culture has to offer is priceless. Sharing some of that richness and and complex circumstances when immigrants are new to the States is what this show has captured.

3/30/04
Elizabeth
I REALLY enjoyed this series. I think it shows Americans in the United States a glimpse of other countries and lifestyles. I LOVED the families in the series and I will pray and hope for the best for them and their families! God Bless!

3/30/04
Vinny Piazza
Westchester NY
I thought this show was great. At the least it should make you realize how lucky we all are to live and have the freedom we do. Most of us, (myself included) bitch and moan about the most trival things. We take so much for granted here.

Well done.

3/30/04
Casey Creel
New Orleans, Louisiana
Thank you very much for this series. It is all too easy for the affluent to ignore or remain ignorant of the struggles of those around them. I will never forget the mother of the Dominican ballplayer who said "For people who are well off, going to the United States is nothing. But the dreams of poor people are very deep things..."

It is, of course, an ironic atrocity that the way the U.S. controls the world by force leads the victims of that aggression to seek solace in the U.S. itself -- Israel never would have "resettled" (destroyed) so many Palestinians and their lives without the aid and support of America. And with this show we see Palestinians whose only hope of a decent life is to begin a new one within the country primarily responsible for ruining their own -- the United States, via its proxy state Israel.

A group of Palestinian men discuss in one segment whether it is ignoble to leave Palestine in search of a better life, instead of staying and fighting against the Israeli/U.S. colonizers. (Such a dialogue hardly exists here, as the elite opinion leaders label anyone advocating against the state of Israel an anti-Semite, or a terrorist.) It is the a similar dilemna for all Americans: we can ignore what our country is doing to the world, or we can use our power to reverse it.

This television program refreshed my energy in working to aid the poor whose lives have been made difficult by the unending greed of my country.

Thank you.

Casey Creel

3/30/04
Wichita Kansas
My wife taught english as a second language to newcomers to this country. I learned from her how desperate people are to come here and how very hard they work when they get here. This program was not news to me, but, rather a reaffirmation of what I already knew. I thought this program was about this story. I was dismayed to watch the part of the program that was a pro-Palistinian anti-Israeli screed. Yes, things are difficult in Palestine, but they are as difficult, if not more so, in Nigeria or the Dominican Republic.

3/30/04
Nashville, TN
My heart goes out to the families. What brave souls and incredible strength of character they all share. I'm thinking "What can I do to help immigrant families with their transition to America?"

Thank you so much for this program!

3/30/04
Kodi
charlotte, NC
I came home from work and i turned on the Tv and this show was on. I couldn't even move, because I was so emerged into the lives of these people. This is how reality-TV should be. I can't wait to see the next episode. :)

3/30/04
Brooklyn, NY
I saw the Immigrant Experience for the first time tonight (Channel 13). While I found it interesting and well done, I don't understand what the Palesinian experience outside the US has anything to do with the other stories. Wouldn't it have been better to show the new immigrants in the U.S. rather than show Palestinians crying (for I believe a full minute). It surely has no bearing on their experience in the US - which is, what I thought, the purpose of the program. It seems disjointed and rather than a contiguous story about immigrants an attempt to put politics into a mix where it doesn't belong.

3/30/04
This movie is a propaganda film that entirely distorts the Palestinian experience and misrepresents itself as a movie about Naama's American experience. It is a biased polemic against Israel and should have been presented as such. I am terribly disappointed in PBS for not accurately representing the subject of this video. The narrator distorts Israeli Palestinian history under a guise of talking about new immigrants to the US.

3/29/04
Yodit
Viriginia
I am a new American. My parents came to this country from Ethiopia and Eritrea so I can relate to this series. I just wanted to say that I LOVED this series and that I hope to see more of these kinds of productions on WETA. Great job.

3/29/04
Sergey Semenov
Wheeling, Illinois
Great show. I'm immigrant myself and I love to hear the stories of my fellow immigrants from around the world. I would certainly suggest also to include the stories of immigrants from Russia/fmr. USSR in US. They are often unfairly portrayed by major US Media Outlets as criminals. This is a disgrace and disregard of basic facts.

Surely, there is acertain percentage of Russian immigrants who are criminals, but the vast majority are decent people who are very adaptable to US Culture and they deserve to be highlighted and represented on TV.

3/29/04
ELhadji ndaw
Miwlaukee
I am excited to see that the lives of immigrants are portrayed on television. I am also very impressed by the breadth of what will be featured and willsee their struggles and tribulations as my own. I came to this country in 1996 with an MA in American History and Civilization, I could not do another MA in Mass comunication because of adminstrative bureaucracy. I did do a BA in Mass com and have another MA in Ed leadership. Right now, I am seeking another MA in education to be a principal or a director of instruction. I do know that immigrants are going through problems in getting into the educative system specially when their orginal system do not match with the US sytem. However, their resilience and the mentality of hard work will help most of them. I am also very saddened by the ideological impact the media has on immigrants from poverty stricken countries. A lot times the negative images outnumber the positive and if we want to build a more balanced world we need to show it all. I am looking forward to the series and will use them in my own classroom.

ELhadji ndaw

3/29/04
Murad Muhammed
Jordan-Amman
Dear al:

Humanity is something soo valuable that should be maintained with total care and gentle. Human rights must be applied all over the world, regardless the race, color or language, we are all humans and have needs that should be met. Needs like food, shulter and security are key points in the lives of millions of people all over the world, unfortunatly, such needs are rarly met. Our role as human rights supporters, I believe, should start by spreading out the basics of the human rights laws, then assuring the application of these laws in a suitable way to help those in needy to become more and more part of the total awarness of the glopal work towards a better life and a better future for all. Thank you

If anyone shares thses ideas with me, please contact me on fenexfire@hotmail.com

Thank you.

3/29/04
Wanda Gomez-Berger
El Cerrito, CA
The series is a very emotionally charged one and builds a great deal of sympathy for the travails of today's immigrants.

Unfortunately the series lacks any challenge to the assumed benefits of this immigration . Unasked is the question of the cost to the country of this immigration.

We have been unable to provide health care to our citizens. How can we also provide it to millions of newcomers - legal and illegal?

We are competing with the best and brightest from around the world. How can our schools succeed if they are burdened with millions of children who don't speak English and come from ethnic groups that have a 60% high school drop out rate?

We have been "a people". Will be continue to be so as millions remain in ethnic ghettos and fail to assimilate?

The series succeeds in touching our hearts. But it fails because it does not challenge our minds.

3/29/04
Maria Morales
Guayanilla, Puerto Rico
Congratulations PBS and Thanks to offer us the best TV programs. The New Americans is the best Ive seen in years. Im puertorrican but I lived for five years in Dominican Republic whule I studied medicine, and I know how these guys work to be accepted in the USA baseball teams, not for fame, but to help their families from poverty. I love the program, cant wait to the next episode.

3/26/04
Ryan Carlson
Washington DC
Great show! I went to a quant finance grad program in Chicago and met many Indians on student visas seeking US jobs. I had a flavor for their sacrifices and the scope of their ambitions, but this really brought it home. India as an emigrant pool is unique: it produces the brightest minds, yet wallows in poverty. The sad thing for many of my classmates was that were competing in a dwindling job market with increasing post-9/11 restrictions. They lived in poverty to chase a dream, and many left empty-handed.

3/26/04
joshua brown
i didnot know what the immigrants were going through i think the situation is very critical dealing with the immigrants i am realy going to reach way down and do somthing about this situation and for immigrants i am very sorry how yall were treated i...realy... am.

3/26/04
brett stoecker
Marshall VA
I didn't think television was capable of producing things this good anymore! Absolutely brilliant. I agree it should be required viewing in schools. Real raw human actions and words portrayed without the dilluting effects of a film-maker's personal bias communicate much more effectively than any carefully researched report or manipulatively scripted drama. Having worked with and lived among immigrants both in the US and abroad, I think the film accurately captured many aspects of the immigrant world to which most of us are completely oblivious. There's so much to praise in this series that there's no point in trying to capture it all here. But to show my appreciation I WILL be making a nice donation to PBS during the next membership drive -- we NEVER would have seen this on any of the commercial US networks. Thanks.

3/26/04
Abdi
Beltsville, MD
great documentary!

As a refugee immigrant from Somalia who came this country almost 6 years ago, I really liked to see the new americans episode. It truly showed our stories, but the question is how can we collectively make the world better so no humanbeing can go through that hardship. Remember only those who were able to migrate have migrated many others are still suffering. Hence, even though immigrants (on this episode) came America they were still unhappy.

3/26/04
Margaret
Baltimore, MD
This show is truly PBS programming at its best!

It was a fantastic prgram about impressive people, any of whom I would be proud to have as a fellow American.

I finished watching the program, however, wondering who exactly the title "New Americans" was refering to. I didn't feel that it really meant the adults focused on in the programs. I think the new Americans really are their children. For the most part the Nigerian and Mexican parents/the Palestinian wife/the Dominicians/ the Nigerian single mother didn't seem to look at America as their new "homeland", it is a land of opportunity for them but never truly home for them...and I think that's to be expected; they will always think of themselves as Nigerian, Mexican, Palestinian, etc...and unfortunately many Americans always will as well. Their children however who are raised here and have a better chance of achieving more of the American dream (thanks to the effort of their parents)are more likely to be thought of and to think of themselves as "new Americans". I think this has proven to be true for immigrant Irish and their children, immigrant Chinese and their children, immigrant Italian and their children, Russian, Polish, Iranian, etc. While children of immigrants may have an affection for or a tie to their parents' homelands, they are Americans...and they shape the American "stew", rather than "melting pot".

3/26/04
Varsha
Checy CHase, MD
The three part program was absolutely riveting! Being a young foreigner in this country and having gone through the inital 'culture shock' in the US, I could completley empathise with the trials and tribulations of the immigrant families. It is commendable how the directors picked seemingly common, stereotypical immigrant themes and showed us the rich complexities of each individual life. Thank you!

3/26/04
Patricia S
Fredericksburg, VA
Congratulations to all those involved in this wonderful production.

I had four immigrant grandparents. One was killed in the Pennsylvania coal mines and left a widow and six children in poverty. Their struggles were heart-wrenching.

I look at the Flores family and want them to succeed. However, I wonder how they will manage in today's America.

Also, isn't this program like a deal with the devil? A TV crew of relatively affluent and privileged people follows a family with such serious difficulties for four years.

What's the story here? Their hardships become our diversion? At what point would the TV crew intervene? Hunger? A child with pneumonia or a major infection? Major economic exploitation? Abuse?

I would really like to know how the Flores family has fared.

3/26/04
Manal Fouz
Fairfax, VA
Wow, I enjoyed this program so much. It really helped me understand the challenges and emotions my parents faced when they immigrated to the U.S. after the 1967 war with Israel. They didn't speak, read or write a word of English. My dad worked two jobs and my mom made some extra cash babysitting. Now I understand why they were so strict on us to do well in school.

It also helped me understand my husband's struggles when he came to the U.S. in 1987 from Jordan with only $25 in his pocket. His father refused to give him a dime for his trip to the U.S. and was vehemently opposed to him leaving. He thought he would lose his religion, culture and forget about his homeland. So, my husband sold all his possessions including his brief case, calculator, clothes, and books to get the money. But after he came to the U.S., he couldn't find a job with his engineering degree. He worked in many fast food restaurants, then in an electronics store, and finally raised enough money to start his own business. Today, he owns his own house and his own financial services company.

It has been a long journey for both my husband and my parents. "The New Americans" was excellent at showing how immigrants just want to work hard, raise their families, educate their children and help those back home. One of the Nigerian moms said that she cannot see herself belonging to America, but she cannot see herself belonging to Nigeria anymore either. She belongs somewhere in between. That was so beautiful!!! It is exactly how every immigrant feels!!!

P.S. I would like to help the Mexican family too. I just felt so sad at what happened to the oldest daughter. Is there a fund we can send donations to?

3/26/04
potomac,maryland
I felt that i had to write to you to express my thoughts on The New Americans.With no intention of watching tv after 9pm i came across your program and i was literally GLUED to the set.

I want to commend the people who made this program on highlighting the issues of immigration ,and to what lengths people will go to make it in this country,especially immigrants.

I went to bed thinking of these families and woke up thinking about them.As a mother of 3 children,who are in bed by 9pm on school nights ,i wish that they had the opportunity to view this documentary,i'm sure it would give them a whole new perspective on themselves and living in potomac.

3/26/04
Julian Campbell
Silver Spring, Maryland
What can you say? This is the real experience for most of us immigrants. Hollywood is the tool used to sell the "American Dream", and it takes an independent lens to show just how much of dream it is for most immigrants. It was interesting to see how these people do the marginal work, or are grossly under paid. You have to pay your dues, but is it worth this much just to live here?

3/26/04
Robert
Shepherdstown, WV
Finally, television that sensitively and un-pedantically displays the richness of humanity.

As Americans we are fortunate to have people from other countries want to make their lives here. It's a mistake to assume that everybody wants or should want to live in this country.

The people portrayed in this series have a warmth and human connection that is markedly absent in most aspects of American life.

It is surprising that each of these people gave up a rich social network in their home countries to pursue an American Dream, and that their isolation here did not reveal to them the value of those networks.

That seems to be the power of the Dream, that hope for a better future is a stronger attractant than appreciation for what one abandons in its pursuit.

3/26/04
Maechi
Odenton, MD
Very insightful program. Great job. I cannot wait for a time when there will be some coverage for the many that are disappointed for no apparent reason, especially Nigerians.

3/26/04
Washington , DC
There's an amazing honesty in the portraits of these people, and, by association, of realities in the US. The bureaucratic struggle of immigration pales in comparison to the emotional tribulations of leaving home and family and trying to adapt here.

Coming from Germany, I'd like to point out that this is not only true for immigrants from developing countries like the ones portrayed here. I have a socio-economic and cultural background similar to the U.S., but reconciling expectations and allegiances is just as difficult.

A big compliment to the producers - this series is a documentary filmmaking at its best; it's informative and touching, and dramatic without the drama of investigative newsmagazines and reality TV.

3/26/04
Annapolis, MD
This program has touched me deeply because I am an immigrant myself. I consider myself lucky because my mother was already an American citizen when I joined her here. I can identify with the children of the Mexican worker who would only see them every six months, because I went through a similar situation with my mother. I can also identify with the daughters of the Nigerian woman who are having a hard time adapting to the US and its school system.

I hope these "new Americans" find in the US the opportunity I have found. Twenty years after immigrating I find myself defending the freedoms granted under our constitution as an officer in the US Navy. This country has given me the opportunity and education to succeed. I though it was time for me to pay it back.

3/24/04
Joni Davis
Odenton, MD
The program was very interesting. It made me appreciate all of the blessings in life that most of us take for granted. What a privledge it is to be an American. I would like to get some information about what's involved in sponsoring a family like the Flores'. Please send me some information or the name of an organization I can contact to find out more.

3/24/04
Jo
The New Americans is, above all, a human story--very welcomed in this age of mistrust and isolation. It's especially enlightening to see immigrants interact with impatient Americans whose own ancestors faced the same confusion, discrimination, and marginalization decades ago.

3/24/04
Susan Crone
Baltimore, MD
I watched this show last night and ended up staying up so i could see the whole show. It truly touched my heart and all the stories were of interest. However, the story that got to me the most was about the Mexican gentleman and his family. I cried when they cried.

I started thinking, I wish there was something I could do to help them. It must really hurt to have to go through such a separation every year. All they want is the same thing we all want, to live a good and healthy life, to have a roof over their heads and food to eat and for the family to be together.

NEVER AGAIN will I take for granted what I have. I have learned from last night's show just exactly what blessings I have and am so grateful.

I still wish I could help that family. Is there a way I could help them besides pray?

3/24/04
Arlington, VA
What can we do so people can live their life happy in the places they are born. How can we create peace. Do we think about the children? How can We be less selfish and share more of what we have.

What is going to happen when everybody decides to come to the US for a better life?

I was a salvadoran refugee at some point, but now I don't know what I am...

3/24/04
Va, America
I must comment that the tv programme titled the New Americans is very interesting and educative especially the Nigerian aspect.

I just got to watch it yesterday and I found myself laughing as in (it was fun becos I found out that its really a fact and everything is so real).

I am a Nigerian myself. Living in the states has not been all that easy but one has to find out a way of adapting to the New system. My regards to the family I saw on scream. Shouts out to Ngozi and her baby and all the others unmentioned. Have a great day.

3/24/04
Patricia Smith
Washington, D.C.
I will never look at another immigrant in the same way again. Your show, The New Americans, has touched me like no other. I have such a deeper understanding of the pain they experience in their quest for a better life. What an outstanding job you have done!! This should be required material in every American classroom. This is television at its finest.

Thank You:
Patricia Smith

3/24/04
Orlando Roberson
Germantown MD
I commend the father from Mexico that is staying steady and doing what it takes to reach the goals that he has set for his family. The mother is a super lady that is tirelessly devoted to her husband and family. The father always stays positive at every bend in the road. The children are strong as well. I plan on watching the next episode. I hope that all is well for the family and God's speed to them.

3/24/04
Sofia
Washington DC
Should be required viewing for anyone publicly denigrating the US and anyone running for elective office!

Immigration made this country what it is today. The incredible richness and strength our country enjoys is due to those brave souls who came here seeking a better life. That so many still want to come here, in this age of rabid anti-Americanism, proves that this is still the land of opportunity. Our country was founded on providing opportunity to ordinary people and is not only the most successful, but the only country that has ever made an effort to do so.

3/24/04
Carmel Ortiz
Washington, DC
My husband and I watched the New Americans last night with great interest - we laughed and cried at the struggles and achievements of each. It is an excellent program and we look forward to watching additional episodes.

While not the primary point of the program, it was particularly valuable to finally see a realistic view of the plight of Palestines who have been forced to live under brutal and de-humanizing occupation for generations. Their continuing struggle to try to maintain a shred of hope and dignity under such oppresive conditions should be a wake up call to all Americans to fight against the continued injustices they suffer.

3/24/04
I watched Episode One of the powerful documentary last night was very moved by the stories. I am first generation immigrant and could really relate to the stories.

My family moved to the US over 14 years ago and both my brothers and I have grown up in America. However, we all struggle with the balance of embracing the American culture while simultaneously holding on to our unique culture and traditions. My mother often speaks of how grateful she is to have been able to raise her children in America enabling all of us to continue on to college and get an education. She is also misses "home" and talks about feeling like a "stranger" a feeling each story in the documentary shows as a constant struggle within the families.

In a world where "reality TV" of matching making schemes seem to be an overwhelming theme, thank you for bring some a powerful story to light. I will be glued to the TV to watch the remaining episodes.

3/24/04
Moira Garayua
Alexandria, VA
Wow! What a show. Every now and then, I think we all need to watch a show like this to remind us how much we might be taking for granted. I applaud this series and deem it a must see for all. I was just flipping channels when I stumbled upon it. I'm so glad I did. I will follow it to it's finale. Thank you.

3/22/04
HEATHER JOSEPH
ST. MARTINVILLE , LA
I THINK EVERY THING IS OK THE STORY IS VERY INTERESTED. MY MOTHER EVEN CRIED FOR THE STORIES

3/22/04
Lonni Carlson
Temecula, CA
Everyone, not just U.S. born, has the right to pursue freedom, happiness, education and health. Contrary to population zero, this planet is healthy enough to support everyone. If they make it to the U.S. they desrve the chance to try. When they succeed, they add richness and wealth, when they fail, they add richness and depth.

3/22/04
Maria Morales
I just watched The New Americans by first time. I am not a TV watcher and tinight I was bored and I turned on the TV. I started to see the program and I couldnt turn off the TV or be separated of it. I love the program, it teaches us how much we would appreciate to be in a place where everybody wants to be. It also shows the suffering of people that have the necessity to leave their families looking for a better future. I love the program, it is full of love and reality. I will watch it all the time.

3/22/04
Jim McGown
Athens, GA
With legislation pending in the U.S. Congress and with much more legislation needed at both the federal and state levels, I am very excited that PBS is airing "The New Americans" to create awareness of the experiences of immigrants, both documented and undocumented, in adjusting to life in the United States. These immigrants are a great gift to the United States if only we who already live as citizens here can cultivate an openness to the culture they bring with them. We, the Country of Immigrants, above all other peoples should be sensitive to their difficulties and appreciative of the richness they can contribute to our collective life. I second Murray Spence's hope that PBS will very soon make this series available on DVD.

2/11/04
Murray Spence
Canberra, Australia
Congratulations!

The seven one-hour weekly episodes of The New Americans is being screened nationally in Australia by the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), and is almost at its completion.

I am rarely moved to participate in talkback or critiques but I feel compelled to say that I think the The New Americans is, without exception, quite the best series of social documentaries that I have ever seen screened on television.

In my opinion the accomplishment that the makers of this series have achieved is to gently and subtlely cut to the very essence of the emotional and personal aspects of these peoples' struggles to assimilate in a strange land. A land that for most has turned out to be a far different one than that popularly portrayed to the rest of the world. The several subjects around whom the series is based are soon developed from the one-dimensional "immigrant" stereotype that I always held in mind into every-day normal and vulnerable human beings that hold the exactly the same hopes, fears, dreams and flaws that almost all citizens of peaceful, affluent first-world countries know well.

Theirs is the added struggle to not only have to quickly discover and learn how to live in and "be American" but also to discover and learn secrets and surprises about themselves when forced to tap into their own depths of inner strength, courage and faith as their dreams and ideals of "the Promised Land" are sorely tested by the demands of its day to day reality.

I can only wait in eager anticipation for PBS in its wisdom to release the superb social insight that is The New Americans onto DVD and VHS as soon as is possible.

 


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