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Margaret S. Maringa
My sister and I left our homeland because of political persecution just
like Barine, Israel and Ngozi.
There was no time to say formal goodbyes to our family. It was another
ten years before we raised enough money to fly our parents to the US for a
mini-family reunion. Tears of joy flowed freely on that day. And the
highlight was our father's prayer as he blessed and thanked the US
government and citizens "for keeping his daughters safe from harm. "
Thank you America for opening your doors and hearts to us.
What a wonderful program. I came upon it by accident and watched every
minute. One thing that struck me was how lonely and isolated the women
felt. They were used to socialing with their neighbors. Here that seems to
be lost. I think we have much to learn from each other.
What I appreciated most about this excellent documentary was that so much
time was spent with the subjects in their native culture. It made me aware
how ignorant I am of other places and customs.
My daughters and I have been watching this show and find it very
interesting. The only thing I saw I did not like was when an immigrant
was told in order to be someone in the US was to have a credit card. Not
all of us have credit cards. So I thought it was wrong to say that. My
duaghter has a friend in Pakistan and she really likes the show, I just
wish it came on earlier.
It changed are thinking of immigrants.
The New Americans series was extremely well done. I can't stop thinking
about the families and their struggles. You guys did a great job
conveying the hardships and struggles that new immigrants face. This has
definitely changed my persepective of new immigrants. I hope the second
generation benefits from the courgage that the first generation of
immigrants has shown. thank you.
Evergreen Park, Il.
Thank you, for this amazing story! I found the first episode by accident
and I was quiet until the end. The Flores family in particular Nora
Flores especially moved me. Her story is sad because she is so young, and
with just a little help she can become an amazing independent woman. I
have watched my Hispanic family struggle my whole life and they, like the
Flores family, they just want to live a life with food on the table and a
good home. If there is a way to reach out and help Nora Flores I will be
happy to show her that her story mattered. Thank You,
Dawn Marie Ortiz
I command your presentation on the New Americans and I am deeply touched.
As an immigrant myself I can relate. Especially for Iseralle...I see my
father in him. The way you tell the story is real, sad, yet lovely. This
story conveys necessary truth to our present society- to understand and
remember where we came from. I want to add "the future belongs to those
who see possibilities before it becomes obvious."
I ran into this while flipping channels one night. It had a huge impact
on me because I teach in a district with a lot of famlies that come to US
for a new start. It was difficult to hear what some of the experiences
were for the famlies and to think that my students could be living and
feeling the same way. I would love to see this used in the classroom at
the appropriate level. It opened my eyes to what coming to America means.
It is not a gaurantee that life will be better than what they left
behind. I thank the famliles for being so open and allowing us to be part
of their struggles.
I was moved by the stories of these brave and resolute people, and also
impressed with the team of filmmakers who committed to this longterm
It seems to me that the immigrants profiled brought with them riches
which our culture has lost: a high value on family, religion, work, and
education. In this sense we can lean from them. I hope it is a two-way
street and we can help them in return.
Las Vegas, NV
I am a first generation child of Mexican parents and how quickly one
forgets where they come from. Not only did this mini-series remind me not
to take my home, job, religion, community, and education for granted, but
it taught me to look at immigrants as the true definition of living the
God Bless the World!
Des Moines, IA
Riveting. That is the only word that fully captures this documentary. I
found it impossible to get out of my seat and leave the televsion fearing
that I would miss something. Each family had stories of such heartache
and pain and at that moment I realized all that we take for granted. As I
wiped the tears from my eyes I had a greater appreciation for all the
different cultures and the treasures they bring. That is what makes this
country what it is today. Thank you for reminding us all.
Ft Laud FL
I watched all 3 nights of the program and I have a whole new respect for
immigrants to this country. I am especially in awe of the Nigerians and
the Mexican families. I admire them for their courage to leave their
homeland and come to the US and start over with nothing. I respect their
work ethic, their determination to succeed, and their taking advantage of
all this country has to offer. A lot of Americans don't have these
characteristics. I am not so sure I would not do as well as they have
done. I was shocked at how much the Dominican players were earning in
comparison to what the American players were being paid. $5,000 for the
Latinos and $350,000 for the Americans, that is a shame. This program was
awesome and I others will also take away a more enlightened view of
I noticed the big difference in the Indian immigrant verses the other
countries. The In dian parent talks a lot of philosophy and spiritual
guidance to his son. He tells him to gather knowledge and come back to
India and help the country. Money is not everything.
Every immigrant from other countries seem to just want to come here and
make money. The Palestinians live here as Americans and complain about
discrimination but they do not love this country the way they love
Palestine. In other words they want equal rights here but all their
patriotism is for Palestine not USA.
What a great series. I just happened upon it on PBS the other night and
was hooked. I often remind people when I hear them complain about
immigrants, that they would not be so lucky as to have been born in the
U.S. if their ancestors had not been immigrants. Then they will make some
comment about how at least they shoud learn our language. So I remind them
that their ancestors probably didn't speak the language either and some
never did learn it. It takes at least two generations to become
"American" and it is the children of immigrants who acclimate to the
american culture the best and who most benefit from it. So say a prayer
thanking your great,great grandparents or your grandparents or your
parents tonight for being immigrants.
To be an Adult immigrant is not an easy task as your program so
beautifully demonstrates. It is for their children they suffer the way
they do and there is probably not one of us who would not choose to suffer
the same way to give our children the best life possible.
I loved it!! I loved every part of this series-- happy and sad, good and
bad. This is the best thing that I have seen in years on TV! It really
made me stop and think about how much I have in my life to be thankful
for. I understood and felt for all of these people. I hope that they are
all doing well where-ever they have ended up. Thank You PBS for producing
and airing such a great show. Keep up the great work!
Patricia Vannicelli Reid
The Ohio State University
This series was truly an enriching experience! The journeys, though heart
wrenching, enabled me to realize how difficult the "land of opportunity"
is for those seeking a better life. The "American Dream" for many becomes
a nightmare, for others, the start to new hope. As a third generation
American-Italian, I thank my grandparents, who made this same journey some
90 years ago, and made it possible for me to fulfill the dream they were
With a greater understanding of our differences, it becomes much clearer
how very much we are the same! I look forward in using this series in the
I'm sorry I missed parts I & II. I only caught the third and final
installment (3/31/04). I loved it! I was extremely moved by all of the
people featured in the story. I was happy to see the "American Dream"
exist for some of the families profiled, while others didn't fare quite as
well, it was good to see what could be accomplished through hard work. I
hope the young girl from Mexico can go back to school and realize her
dream. Will it be replayed? Are follow up stories in the works? I would
like to see how everyone who was featured, have feared since this program
was aired, and know what lies ahead for them.
I want to thank PBS for broadcasting such an important film. The
direction, editing, commentary, etc. were all suberb. The stories of
these new Americans' lives were engaging and thought-provoking. I was
moved to tears many times as I watched these families' experience daily
struggles and joys. Thank you to the directors, producers, and especially
the families themselves for opening their lives to us. This is the type
of "reality T.V." this country needs more of.
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Bravo! Independent Lens and PBS. This series had me transfixed over the
past three nights, and I even stayed up past my bedtime last night to
watch the conclusion... still I was left wanting more. There are so many
stories to tell- also an important note is that this could have been told
in any Western country that accepts a substantial amount of immigrants
from all over- like the UK, Canada or Australia.
My husband is an immigrant- he moved from the UK to marry me and so that we could have a life together. We did the whole K-1 fiance visa,
Adjustment of Status routine. We joked that his story wouldn't have made
much of a dramatic documentary... an educated guy from a similar, rich
western country moves to another rich western country to have a life with
his educated wife. Certainly we've had some trials and tribulations... the
first year we were married there was 9/11, his dad passed away, I had some
health issues and he was unemployed for over a year because just like that
guy from India- he's a tech worker and there just weren't any jobs, but still- these are the same issues that all sorts of people were dealing with- not just immigrants. For this same reason, we laughed that they wouldn't bother doing a documentary on a Canadian immigrant to the US, either.
Anyway, the series was shot well, filled with massive doses of humanity
and understanding and I applaud your efforts... Please give us more
I am deeply touched by your program . I cried with the palestinians, and I
was dismayed when the Mexican family left Kansas and the daughter lost her
dream of finishing high school, and I was amused when the Indian worker
tried his first artichoke meal. I came to this country 13 years ago from
Burma. I relate so much to some of the things the people in your program
went through. This program effectively showed how we are all connected in
most ways. I wish all Americans will watch this program and saw what I
saw. Maybe next time they see a person different from them they would see
the humanity in them before they judge on the difference.
This program was exceptional. We enjoyed it very much - I found myself
laughing and crying along with the subjects. Very well done!
Bravo to PBS! For a program well done.The New Americans was so riveting!I
missed some of the program on March 29. I checked TV guide and notice it
on March 30. I was so anxious to see it. I was glued to my television the
entire time. I immigrated from Jamaica in 1985. I had similar experience
as the the family from Mexico. Being turned down by the Consulate after
many ardous trips. Unfortunately, for my family, the entire family did not
immigrate at one time. My mom had 11 children, so we migrated in two's
and three's. The adjustment was difficult at first. But like all
imigrants to America, we wanted a better life. I was able to earned a
Bachelors degree and currently works in the legal field. I am hoping that
the New American will air again so I can tell my friends and family about
I can't imagine a world without the programs on PBS. I will update my
membership and mail a check. PBS you deserve every donation. I wish I
could do more. Thanks!
I was very pleased to watch the new americans,and i stayed up all three
nights to follow the variious stories of each family.
I am originally from Nigeria,i came to the states just 2 years ago,so i
was pleased to see other Nigerians featured in the programme,trying to do
well and make a better life for themselves and their families.The show is
superb,there is so much to learn from it.for Black americans i think they
should stop and ponder why Africans are so successful when they come over
to the states,even with all the hardships they go through.
I felt the pain each family was feeling,the mexican family,hartem and his
wife,the dominicans,and the two Nigerian families,because i know what it
is like to leave home and loved ones behind.i came to the states at 24 to
pursue a masters degree,even though am not an immigrant and there is no
problem at home...i can still relate..it hit me so close to home,when the
indian was trying to call home with the call cards,i always spend about
$10 a week calling home to speak to my mum,sisters and loved ones.
I think the documentary should win an award...because it is real,crisp,no
pretense,and no acting.....
about the new immigrants criticizing the U.S,I think it is just
natural...I urge everyone to try and travel more often,get to know other
parts of the world,then perhaps u will understand where they are coming
from...There are high rise buildings in Nigeria,Mexico,India...but when
the new immigrants come over they expect to see buildings heading up into
the skies....if its just like what they have back home,then they are
dissappointed....People should learn more about the world....we are more
alike than we think.
All I really want to say is this series blew me away. Being a 3rd
generation German American, I never comprehended the struggle people went
through when they first come to this country. I applaud their courage and
Sadly, I just caught the last day of the program. My family left the
Dominican Republic 15 years ago and moved to Puerto Rico. Like many
immigrants we were economic exiles as our homeland didn't provide the
opportunities for us to have a better live. It was a challenging
transition to get accustomed to a new way of living (and we had it easy,
since we share a common language). My siblings and I attended college
there and have forged lasting friendships and welcomed new family members
that are a mix of Dominicans & Puerto Ricans. I left Puerto Rico for NY 7
years ago, in search of something more exciting and a new set of
challenges. The one battle I don't think I will win is that sense of
I related to all the stories in the series because I have had moments
like those of the people featured. Gracias PBS for outstanding programming.
Thanks PBS for wonderful insight into the lives of the New Americans! My
eyes were a little teary as I saw the struggle of the immigrants. The
Palestinian man (the one with excellent English skills) is a rebel with a
cause, no doubt. I wonder if he knows the negative effect that he has,
though, on the listener by his actions and speech which do not help
portray the Palestinian image in a positive way. His wife, Naima, on the
other hand, portrays a Palestinian who is caring, thoughtful and even
handed which shows in her work with children (who just happen to be
Jewish). If Palestinians and Israelis were much like Naima as portrayed
by her on this PBS show, there most certainly would be peace and
prosperity between those two ethnic groups. Naima husband, wake up!!
Quit smoking first which is killing those around you; put your energy into
economic pursuits which is a much more powerful message than putting out
the same old message that we all have heard and take issue with; grow up!!
I am neither Christian nor Muslim nor religious, but I do believe in a mythical God, not any Jesus or Muhammad around whom zealots can polarize in order to hate and kill one another.
I am so moved by this series! My husband and I were born in Hungary, we
were married there and we left in the fall of 1987. We lived in a UN
refugee camp in Austria for 20 month, and our baby girl was 15 month old,
when US took us. It has been almost 15 years ago. We are very proud to be
Americans and Hungarians at the same time. We have four children now, my
husband and I are about to graduate from college, but this 15 years was
very hard, and very trying. I was told once, that only the strongest,
kindest and most hummble make it in the US. I know it is true, and it is
true about the people we saw in the series too. Few understands what does
it really mean to have nothing, to not speak the language, to not
understand the culture. I could go on for pages about all the things that
matter, and make a difference. Thank you for this wonderful program!
Bravo. Every American should watch this program. There are far too many
people who take the opportunities available in this country for granted.
st louis mo
the best show i have seen in a long time.
I am from the UK,so im used to good tv.
This was exceptional.
all Americans should be watch this.
keep up the good work.
Thank you for sharing the stories. I live here but come from Canada so I
do not suffer the way others do. I do however have the privledge of
working with Refugee and Immigrant families and my life is richer for it.
There are good and bad in every community. I feel for those who are
homesick. My home is close just a few hours away, yet it can feel so out
of reach. What is must feel like to those who cannot return to their
homeland, what it feels like to be lost in the language, to not be
understood, to start all over. I think it is important to hold onto
traditions, while embracing in a respectful way the traditions of our new
home. Education is important. If we all had or make opportunity to share
each others stories we would all learn and appreciate our differences and
learn of our similarities. Bravo to PBS and the independant Lens for
educating us all on the many faces and hearts of America.
I'm a senior in high school and I wish my fellow students were more
exposed to these types of programs that protray reality. Each person's
story brought me to tears.
But I have something to say about it. Its ok for immigrants to seek
happiness in the US. But they must not fall for the assimilation that is
the downfall of their heritage. Embrace your culture and traditions.
Question your government and "justice." Diversity is what makes this
country so culturally rich. Don't forget your past and always think about
The happiness these immigrants search for is not fulfilled in a
materialistic manner. They seek family unity, peace, justice in their
country. They are not happy about leaving behind they're country and
comming to a prejudicial society that will challenge their every believe.
No...they come here because they are forced to do so. They are only trying
to survive. Which is what live is really about.
I invite people to analyze the situation and open their eyes to the
realities of the world. For example; The Congo (now Zaire) is the richest country in Africa in the way that it has the best resources, like diamonds and other mines, yet the Congolese live in miserable poberty. And who benefits the most from these resources? The US. Oh yes....America the Beautiful? People...
let's not live in ignorace.
Where to start? Thank you to everyone who worked on this project. As an
immigrant who came here through the 'green card'lottery, I identified with
so many of the experiences of the families. Israel, sending money home to
his people and 'explaining' to them how life is so hard here. When he
tasted his first hamburger. I could tell that it did not meet his
'expectations' but he was too polite to say anything. I remember how I
hated the food here, like the Dominican boys. The chicken was too fatty,
the tomatoes were so big and everything had to have cheese. As I watched
the show, I laughed even as I cried.
I was greatly moved by the sacrifices that Mr. Flores made. I was very
surprised when he actually agreed to leave his home in Garden City to go
and be a field worker in Mecca. So his wife could be happier. This to me
spoke of true love and sacrifice within the family. I hope that ultimately
the oldest daughter will be able to go back to school.
It is my fervent wish that a lot more people can see this. Thank you Independent Lens, thank you PBS.
I was very moved by the entire program. Everyone's story is difficult and
I can only imagine how hard it must be to immigrate to this country. It
makes me think of my ancestors who came here during the holocaust from
The story of my ancestors made me think more in depth about the Naima
(sorry if misspelled) and her husband Hatem. I know that there are a lot
of Palestinian refugees in this country that left due to persecution from
the Israeli Jews. I don't really know any Palestinians but I was so
intrigued by the intimate look this program gave into the lives of a young
Palestinian couple. THey are normal people who work here to organize
against Israel's actions, because like Hatem said, we are funding Israel
and their army which sometimes I feel are the true terrorists in the
I don't know why people in this world especially Americans feel they have
to be better than anyone and make it near impossible for immigrants to
come and survive here when this country was built by immigrants
. It also makes me think about Israel where much of my family lives. Why
must it be a state only for Jews. I know Jews lived there 2000 years ago,
and Palestinians since, so why does Israel get the entire land to
themsleves? We need to start seperating ourselves by the privelage of
becoming a citizen of a state when many cannot.
I think that the US along with countries like Israel need to open ours
and their borders to allow people to leave their places where they cannot
live, and in Israel's case allow the people to come back that they forced
out during the 20th century.
Still, great program, bravo!
A great, thought provoking show that deserves a standing ovation. I was so
captivated, I cancelled all my plans during the three days it aired. The
people that touched me the most were the "minor characters" such as the
Palestinian mother with her great insights and one liners. "God willing"
and "It's all water". Pedrito, the youngest Mexican child and his love for
his grandfather (such a good soul that kid). Juan's mother in Dominican
Republic and her intellegence in seeing baseballs failures more than
fulfilling young people's dreams, i guess it is the "hoop dreams" of the
Great show again, Thanks PBS.
PS. "What tears will you have left for me when i die, if you cry so much
now" Israel's mother.
Susan Bullock Sylvester
Thank you. This program makes all the so-called 'reality TV' shows seem
staged. I spent 2+ years (1988-90) as a Peace Corps volunteer living in a
poor area of the Ecuadorian Highlands and can identify with the emotions
this documentary series captures so well. I was fortunate in that I chose
to be in Ecuador and could freely return to the US. Yet many of the people
I worked with could not understand how I could leave the US when being in
the US that was their highest goal. That always made me sad, because I
felt deep loneliness and homesickness at times and knew, that for any of
them going to the US, they would experience much more pain and culture
shock. I had the support network of the Peace Corps and other resources
that they likely would not have in the US. You captured the feeling of
the 'stranger in a strange land' and brought my heart to tears. We live
in a complex world with different cultures yet such similar dreams for our
It was heartbreaking to see the Flores family end up working in the fields
after coming so close to having a decent life. To see their eldest
daughter go from excelling in high school while working at a movie theater
to working in a chemical strewn field and dropping out of school was sad;
I hope she will not give up on her dreams.
It was terrible to see that the Dominican ball player who was wrongly
accused of a crime ended up without a baseball contract. I don't
understand why the Dodgers would train Dominican ball players in Montana,
when they could have trained in with more Latinos state like Florida, Los
Angeles or Texas.
Naima is a sweet soul; I hope she will find happiness, and I hope
Israel's family will prosper.
I could not walk away from the TV for a minute not to miss a single moment
of the documentary. For years I?ve been saying that someone should make a
movie about the current immigrant?s life in North America, and there you
have it. Someone must have heard me!
Unfortunately I have to say that I am one of 'New Americans'. Well, at
least I was for a short time.
About 7 years ago, my family and I immigrated to US from a former Soviet
Union country. After years of battle of immigration cases, lawyers and
thousands of dollars in legal fees, we were deported from US. Sadly, and
honestly to say we were the perfect "New Americans"; educated, motivated
and already established in the local community, but none of that stopped
the government to closed the gate behind out backs.
In search for a second chance, we moved from US to the north, Canada.
It?s been over 3 years of the same story all over again. Lawyers,
immigration applications and tons of cash. Unfortunately nothing would
work. Canada has refused to let us stay here just as their southern neighbor.
Today, after 7 years of living in North America, my family is packing
bags (literally) to travel back, back to where it all began. Not knowing
what awaits us "back home", we're to start a new life all over again...
Land of opportunity? Please. More like a country of slaves, they will use
you and abuse you until they don't need you anymore.
At the core of every politicised issue, underneath the rhetoric,
statistical analysis and self-interest, there are always people, just
living their lives. Thank you to the producers of the New Americans and
PBS for helping us experience immigration for ourselves.
Jersey City, NJ
I thought the show was excellent. It was an exact portrayal of life of
almost all immigrants in US. Life is hard here and I thought you guys did
a great job balancing out the life's struggles and happiness.
Thank you, PBS, for producing such a thoughtful series. My children, 16
and 12 years old, and my husband were just as interested after I described
the people and their stories from the first night's episode. We are very
impressed with the candidness and transparency that all of the immigrants
expressed. I related, to some degree, to the immigrants' feelings of
displacement, homesickness, and confusion because I am an "Army brat" of
20 years. Our Caucasian family of 5, originally from Virginia, relocated
to Germany and Japan, and New Mexico and Alabama. I'm married and have my
own children now and have been "rooted" in one area for over 25 years. I
tell my children (who will probably never see the places where I grew up)
that I wouldn't trade my experiences, but I wouldn't want to relive some
of the pain of adjusting to new schools, leaving friends and family, and
misunderstanding foreign cultures and languages. I empathized with these
individuals--It's not all "adventure!" I felt so bad when the Flores children were pulled out of school; I was touched by the friendliness of the
hotel staff that gave Israel's wife a baby shower; I thoroughly enjoyed
Naima's sense of humor with her intense husband and I admired her bravery
in finding work, getting a license, etc., in spite of the language
barrier; I felt awful for the stigma of blame that the Dominican Republic
ballplayers suffered when one was charged with assault; I admired how the
young man from India was trying so hard to be a productive professional
and to provide for his family; I appreciate the generosity and
graciousness of the Montana host families. Because of your program, I am
more motivated to befriend the internationals where I live. Because we are
part of a church that welcomes and assists internationals with furniture,
fun events, family meals (especially at Thanksgiving), help with driving
lessons, and more, we have benefitted from friendships with people from
Taiwan, Nigeria, Japan, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Haiti, and China. We have
enjoyed their traditional music and sampled their food and felt their concern for families and situations back in their homeland. Thank you, again, for undertaking such a huge project; we all need to be reminded to show a little more kindness to each other. Would any one of us have stepped up be a friend to the families in your show?
Thank you for airing a program like this. It is very informative and I
think some other networks can do more of this and let most Americans
appreciate life a lot more.
San Antonio, TX
This film should be required viewing for all Americans. It has stirred so
many emotions in me that I can't adequately express everything I
experienced watching it.
It is realer than real.
This program really touched my heart and moved me. I cheered for the
immigrants success and victories and shook my head with their defeats.
Thank you for a great program and I hope it will help people to understand
and respect inmigrants.As an inmigrant myself I know what it feels like to
leave your country and your love ones.
What it really bothers me is to see the conditions in which people have
to work in the fields in California, they are not even given masks to
protect themselves from the chemicals. I wonder, would it be the same if
the workers were americans? I wonder if they get health insurance. I
really think those people work under inhuman conditions.
Thanks again for a wonderful program.
WOW! As an immigrant from India my self, I feel very fortunate to be here.
I also went thru what anjan went thru albeit, I came as a student in 91. I
think coming as a student and then getting a job here, certainly has its
advantages rather than just coming to work. I strongly believe my
education here helped me to communicate better with people I work with.
Having said that life does need some luck for people under extraordinary
situation like anjans. In some sense I am happy that given the closeness
of anjan's dad, he got to be with him during his final days of life. So he
is fortunate in his own way.
Talking about the production, I think this was one of the best. The
music, even though I could not understand many, conveyed the feeling and
made me feel part of their struggle. Overall this is one of the very
touchy production I have seen in a while.
Congrats and Thanks!!!
I couldn't stop watching this show. What a wonderful program. Every child
in school should see this to realize the opportunities they take
foregranted. I wanted to take that young Mexican girl into my home so we
could complete high school. What courage our ancestors had!
Thank you PBS .. Ive never been so moved by any other TV program. I
watched the show that aired on the 31st ,i missed an hour and also all
episodes of it aired previously. I was soo touched ... I was in tears.
Grand Blanc, Michigan
Thank you for such a great program. The show was very well done and I
would agree that this is great television.
The show is a reality check for those of us who take this country for
granted. It was a reminder of how good we have it here in the U.S. and how
fortunate we are to have such a great country that people will go to such
great lengths to get here.
Thank you for showing the differences and diversity of perspectives. I
was really touched by the Mexican family and the families struggles to
make the journey and adapt to a new way of life
This show will make me look at immigrants in a whole new light. Thank
Absolutely riveting....I was totally enthralled during the whole
series...should be required watching for ALL - most
especially young people to enable them to empathize with the plight of these courageouspeople.We as citizens take our natural born rights without a second thought.
Each and every story touched my heart deeply. What a won-
derful job you all did with this series...totally, totally
awesome...give us a follow up.
I certainly enjoyed your series,unfortunately I missed the first airing. I
was rooting for the Flores family,and the couple from India. But then I
became wary of the Palestinians after several remarks were made by
Hartem.He said that the Americans think they are better than everyone else
when referring to our refusal to use the metric system.He also said to his
little nephew,that if the airport screeners ask you if anyone has touched
your suitcases tell them "no",because when they see your arabic name on
your suitcase they automatically will think your a terrorist.The nephew
replied " The Iraqi's are the terrorists." Hartem replied to his
nephew,"no one is a terrorist." This was alot of food for thought.I'd like
to know why they are here,the wife is obviously very unhappy.
Wow!! This was the best series!! It was amazing. Watching the series
opened my eyes to the struggles, both financially and emotionally that
immigrants go through, I had a totally different perception. I just can't
say enough good things about this documentary, it deserves any award that
is given to documentaries.
This was, without a doubt, one of the best documentaries I have ever seen.
I am a "new American" too. I came from Mexico 6 years ago, and I can
relate to all of the stories. This program has ignited the flame for
social work within me. I just feel that I want to help people. Thank you!
Oak Park, Il.
Thank you for broadcasting this amazing piece of work. I was riveted the
entire seven hours. It should be required viewing for ALL Americans.I
think we will all have a better understanding of why people choose to come
here and what they sacrifice in hopes of a better life for their families
here and at home.
Many thanks to everyone involved who worked on this series and to PBS for
sharing it with us.
I rarely stay up late, but your series on immagrants was compelling I
stayed up past my bedtime. My great-grandparents came from Germany and
Scotland. In both cases there were no economic opportunies for them in
their home countries and the industrial revolution illiminated my
Scottish ancestors jobs in the weaving industry. My sister has done
extensive research on the Scottish people. Although we know alot about the
people none of their traditons were kept and they soon blended into the
America society. I admire these immagrants who can be part of two
Hilton Head, SC
I came to this country when I was two months old, I didn't experience
racism till I moved to South Carolina twelve years ago. My sympathy goes
out to the new immigrants who thought America was a melting pot. Thank
you PBS, after watching the New Americans, I know I'm not the only one who
struggles with prejudiceness.
Carolina Beach, North Carolina
BRAVO! Spectacular show from a 61 year old white born in America
grandmother. We have so much to learn from these people, and in my
opinion they are all very rich in a way many Americans will unfortunately
not understand. Hats off to your production team.
I just want to mention what a wonderful engaging series pbs has provided.
I felt so touched. It has been a long time that a TV series or program
could make me feel the way I felt when I watched these immigrants
experience the emotional and physical obstacles relating to emigrating to
the states. I came to the states 20+ years ago from Asia, and although I
have adjusted well to the American traditions/culture, I still feel a
little more comfort in communities predominantly rich in Asian influences
or communities having some Asian ambience. As a result, I am able to be
in touch with and also appreciate my roots. The TV series has, in
addition, help me (hopefully others too)learn to appreciate what I have
now and not to take the little things (we overlook so easily) for granted.
Thanks again pbs and thanks to the immigrants
Los Angeles, California
Awesome, Thank you PBS, Sponsors and everyone who got involved in such
great show , As an Immigrant watching my kids growing up in this great
country and becoming an active part of it I think that all the
difficulties and the pain that myself and all other immigrants went
through is worth it .May God protect and bless this country and make it
the best, PEACE
Costa Mesa, California
I am amazed by tremendous amount of love, wisdom, skill and effort that
went into making this extraordinary documentary. I think it will become a
classic. Watching it was an education of both the heart and the mind for
me. It is not just about emigrants to America, but something more
universal -- the struggle of all humanity to find a better life in our
fast-changing global community. We are all truly one family. My deepest
thanks go out to all those who contributed to making and presenting it.
This is television of the very highest quality.
San Francisco, CA
I can't remember having been so trasfixed by a television program. Every
minute of the New Americans provokes further thought on the wonderful,
horrible land that is America.
The new Americans encounter hostility and suspicion one minute and are
embraced and welcomed as equals the next. The sadness of leaving family
behind is overwhelming, but so is the pride at being able to help support
those back home. Never have I found myself shifting so quickly between
shame and admiration for my country.
I cannot adequately express my respect for all of the filmmakers who made
the New Americans possible. Their years of work represent an enormous
accomplishment. The editing in particular stands out as superb.
To Israel, Naima, Jose and all of the others who shared their lives, I
thank you heartily for your willingness to open your houses to me and all
of the other viewers, and I welcome you with open arms to a country that
is surely better for your presence. May you and yours find that the
moments of happiness outweigh the times of hardship, and peace and good health be unto you all!
Thank you PBS for broadcasting this show. It was very educational. I've
seen many shows on different culturals and this one was the best. I think
America should keep doing what their doing with the immigrant situation.
America was build on immigrants so why should it change now that we have
become so successful? I think a lot of Americans are very selfish when
it comes to money. Immigrants want the same oppurtunites as Americans do
like freedom and a chance to work to better themselves and provide for
their families. Everybody works hard in life to have the essentials
needed to live no matter if your just a immigrant starting out or a
wealthy business men because in a blink of an eye you can lose it all.
I grew up in a rural hispanic area near the Flores Family in the
COachella Valley and the majority of the population is hispanic. I am not
hispanic, but Italian and african american so I am kind of in the middle
of it all. I'm use to hearing things about migrant immigrants farm
workers and their struggle to get to america. Some of my friends parents were farm workers and they were very hard working and respectable people.And they are very family oriented. I like all the stories very much especially the one about the couple from palestine. I had a very close friend that was from palestine and that story reminded me of her. Some of her family were in Chicago also. I haven't heard or seen her since she moved back to Palestinen with her husband, her name was SADEKA. They were very nice people and adjusted to the american life style very well. I miss her very much and I wish I could see her again.
In conclusion I enjoyed this program very much and hope you will air
I realy liked the new americans series i think that this program made me
relize that we might be from diferent places we come to U.S.A. for the
same reasons to have a better life. i really liked it good job thumbs up.
everyone needs to see this film, people in schools, churches and gov't
offices. the people in the film restored my belief in humanity. so many
touching, eloquent scenes, faces and words! i wish i could go visit the
ogoni in nigeria, the palestinian family, the grandpa left in mexico. i'd
like to adopt the eldest mex. daughter and say come to HS here in our
town, and if i was youger go out with jose, the ballplayer. thanks for an
experience, not just a film, this was real sharing, a spiritual fellowship
ps:my fav saying,"if something falls out of the sky, the earthcatches it!"
Beautiful, honest series. I came to care about everyone. I do not agree
with Hateh's methods/way of struggling for a solution because like
violence, political disunity/divisiveness only tends to bring more of the
ame but I resonate with his grief and desire to do something about an
awful situation. In her own way, Naima was possibly doing more for the
cause of peace through putting her wounds and baggage aside in loving
association with Jewish children who she then comes to know (along with
the staff) are wonderful young spirits like all children.
Querida Nora: si quisiera que le mando cassettes para aprender Engles me
llame al numero 510-667-3913 y deje um mensaje con su direccion (despacio
por favor) Y le mandare. Nunca la pierda la esperancia!
I just want to start by saying a big "THANK YOU" to pbs, and to the people
who dedicated their time, effort and money to this documentary because it
certainly made me a better person. I am a Nigerian who has been here for
about three years now and I was shocked by the things I saw and heard
about Ogoni people. I can trully say that most Nigerians both home and
abroad are ignorant of what has been going on in Ogoni or may be the
magnitute of their problems.It is the irony of the century that people who
has been tremendrously blessed with a natural resources such as oil are
living in such misery. While watching the documentary I saw my friend and
her Sister,and my neighbor as well and I called them immediately. I
respect them now more than ever since I have seen what they have gone
through to be here.
I wished that my fellow Nigerians at home could see this documentary in
order for them to understand that coming to America as an immigrant is not
going to second heaven just as Isreal said in the documentary rather is like a baby who just took his first step and have no clue where
he will end up. I was shocked myself when I first got here, in 2001 and I
cried for days when nobody is watching because of the things that I saw.
Finally I hope to see more of this kind of explosive documentary in the
future, if possible what is life like for poor Americans as well because
not everybody in America is rich.
Lake Forest ,California
I was glad to stories of the new Americans on air because this side of the
story never gets air time on other networks.The story of Anjun Bachu hit
home for me because i too came to the states on an H1B visa and was fired
just two days after starting the job.i was stuck with huge legal bills and
other expenses.it's a awful experience and i could relate to Anjun's
Dilemma.the American dream is just a myth,and i hope that everyone ,
especially people abroad gets to see the program . I wish all participants
on the show the best. I hope that we humans will learn to treat people
whether immigrants/citizens equally.
Saint Paul, MN
This was true "reality" television--poignant stories about real people. I
was most touched by Nora Flores, a young woman who wanted simply to finish
I loved this show and tried NOT to watch for fear i'd be too depressed.
But Israel's faith and ultimate success inspired me.
Naima's story was interesting to me because she married an American. As a
couple, Hatem and Naima seemed so ill-matched. Sometimes Hatem appeared so
foolish and cruel, paying more attention to his Arab-American politics
than his own Arab wife. Their disconnect was heartbreaking.
I just wanted to thank you! I have spent the last three evenings glued to
my television. I tripped over your show on Monday night while flipping
channels and it didn't take but a few minutes before I was hooked. I am
so grateful for the time spent with Israel and Ngozi, Naima, Nora Flores,
and the others. My heart ached for these courageous people and I found
myself caring deeply for their happiness and safety. I cried over their
loses and rejoiced when they found luck and love. Thank you for helping
me to open my eyes and my heart.
I was upset about the Mexican family's move out of their better situation
in Kansas. I wish that the Mother had been able to get counseling, an
outside job w/ new friends, and other possible alternatives that would
have aided her adjustment. I realize that she may have felt so depressed
that she may have felt like she was going to die and could not probably
think of anything else except to get near support but I feel very bad
about the senseless and painful results for her kids that are also
impacting their future.I know this is real life, but I do not want the
story to end here. I want Nora to have an education. It may not be the
place for PBS to do it but this seems like an excellant opportunity to
start a fund and although I have limited funds I would like to contribute
to it. I would love to communicate with Nora also to encourage her to not
give up. Things are still possible para ella salir em frente.If nothing
else, I could send her English language tapes which are an excellent way
to learn the language.
San Francisco, CA
The New Americans is an absolutely remarkable, captivating series. If it
doesn't win an Emmy award, there is no justice. Bravo on a job well done!
Truly incredible storytelling, editing. The access you had to these
immigrants' lives was also remarkable.
Los Angeles, California
I cant take myself away from this show, it is truly a phenomenal series,
that heightens the understanding of so many peoples. my family immigrated
from latin america, and i had some insight into that journey, but to see
what people from so many different origins had to leave behind, and what
they have to endure/enjoy once here, opens up a real level of insight into
the impetus of the many recently immigrated peoples making up this country.
A real powerful experience. i am greatful for something so wonderful on
tv that is meaningful and enriching. Truly an accomplishment of excellence
and education, as well as an insight on the human experience seen from US
Americans' eyes & focused on the point at which other cultures intersect
its own. culture.