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Playlist: Immigration & Reform

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8363028@N08/with/2471557468/">Flickr: DeusXFlorida</a>
Image by: Flickr: DeusXFlorida 
Curated Playlist

Getting to—and staying in—America.

PRX Editors' Picks are curated by the PRX Editorial Team. Learn More.

Broken Borders: Immigration Reform in the Southwest (Series)

Produced by Fronteras Desk

A five part series from the Fronteras Changing America Desk on the broken parts of our immigration system and the prospects for reform.

Most recent piece in this series:

Back of the Line

From Fronteras Desk | Part of the Broken Borders: Immigration Reform in the Southwest series | 04:01

Valencia_r332x217_small Both the Senate and the President’s proposals for immigration reform agree the pathway begins in the “back of the line” — behind everyone who’s legally waiting. But, it turns out, there isn’t one line. There are many lines. And for some families, the wait is so long it’s going back in time. From the Fronteras Desk, John Rosman explains.

Tucson, AZ: Borderlands

From Al Letson | Part of the State of the Re:Union: Season Three series | 53:52

Tucson sits in the borderlands, the desert landscape where America and Mexico meet. This place is crisscrossed by boundaries, visible and invisible—from the US border wall that cuts the Sonoran desert in half, to live-wire political divides in Tucson itself. In this episode, we tell stories about what happens when people cross borders, risking their lives and their reputations to take a chance on the other side.

Sotru_profile-pic_01_small State of the Re:Union
Tucson, AZ: Borderlands

Host: Al Letson
Producer: Laura Starecheski

Description:
Tucson sits in the borderlands, the desert landscape where America and Mexico meet.  This place is crisscrossed by boundaries, visible and invisible—from the US border wall that cuts the Sonoran desert in half, to live-wire political divides in Tucson itself.   In this episode, we tell stories about what happens when people cross borders, risking their lives and their reputations to take a chance on the other side. 


Billboard (:59)
Incue: From PRX and WJCT
Outcue: But first, this news.

News Hole: 1:00-6:00

SEGMENT A (12:29)
Incue: From WJCT in Jacksonville, Florida
Outcue: You're listening to State of the Re:Union.


A-1. The Fence
When Bill Odle moved to a piece of land right on the border, there was only a barbed wire fence separating him from his closest neighbor in Mexico.  Now, a fourteen-foot border wall cuts across the mountain landscape.  But does it actually stop anyone from crossing? 

A-2.  The Crossing: Lost in the Desert (Part 1)
There’s no other morgue in the US with the grim expertise of the one in Tucson.  That’s because just outside of the city, hundreds of bodies are found in the desert every year:  migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and other places who dared to cross this rugged stretch of border because it’s more difficult for the U.S. to police.  They die of thirst, of exposure, just a car-ride away from the city.  Their bodies often lie undiscovered until they’re nothing but a bleached pile of bones. Who were these people, in life? Who are their families?  In this story we meet the team at the morgue in Tucson charged with identifying the dead, and returning remains to families who, in some cases, have waited for years for some word of their loved one.  


SEGMENT B (18:59)
Incue: You're listening to …
Outcue: State of the Re:Union

B-1. The Crossing:  Chayo (Part 2)
In January of 2012, Robin Riggins’ best friend Marie Dorantes—who goes by the nickname Chayo—was deported to Mexico.  Chayo had lived in Los Angeles for more than twenty years.  Her three sons were born here.  There seemed to be no other choice than to try to cross back to the place she considered home.  In February, Chayo called to say she was about to set out on foot from Altár Sonora, and cross the Arizona desert.  But she never arrived in Tucson.  Told in Robin’s words, this is Chayo’s story.


B-2.  Mission San Xavier
Not every walk in the desert ends in tragedy.  In this story, we meet a man on his monthly pilgrimage from the Yaqui Indian Reservation to the Mission San Xavier, a holy site founded by the Spanish over 400 years ago. 

B-3.  The Gleaners
About ten years ago, environmental scientist Barbara Eiswerth noticed a strange problem in Tucson: a rainbow of fruit from all over the world, planted as landscaping in the city’s backyards, was rotting in the gutters.  The harvest from each tree—sometimes up to 1,000 pounds of fruit—was too overwhelming for any one family to handle.  Barbara was determined to find a way to save this bounty from the landfill.  So she dreamed up a magical partnership between the homeowners of Tucson and the one group of people who not only wanted to help with the harvest, but needed the connection the land: refugees, far from their rural homelands.

SEGMENT C (18:59)
Incue: I'm Al Letson and you're listening
Outcue: to bring them back together. (music tail)

C-1. Beyond Banned Books.
In January of 2012, Arizona enacted a law that effectively dismantled Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American studies program, in a move the New York Times called blackmail, since “keeping the program would have meant losing more than $14 million in state funding.”   Most media coverage of the controversy focused on the reign of conservative anti-immigration politics in the liberal city of Tucson.  But as State of the Re:Union dug into the politics on the ground in Tucson, we found a different story, one that didn’t break down along the usual liberal / conservative lines.  Some students and teachers were passionate about Mexican-American studies (MAS), saying the program changed lives.  But others said MAS indoctrinated students, and squelched dissent.  In this story, we meet people who were forced by the controversy to question their political loyalties—and paid a price for crossing divides.

C-2. Star Party!
There’s no way around it: life on the ground is complicated.  But there’s one group of people in Tucson who’ve found a way to escape the controversy that seems to unfold constantly on the ground… by looking up.  We look through the telescopes of amateur astronomers in Tucson at a once-in-a-lifetime “star party.”

C-3.  Wrap-up / Montage
Al closes the episode with a meditation on crossing borders, and how the borderlands have shaped Tucson’s identity.

PROGRAM OUT @ 59:00

Tucson, AZ: Borderlands is available on PRX without charge to all public radio stations, and may be aired an unlimited number of times prior to January 31, 2017. The program may be streamed live on station websites but not archived. Excerpting is permitted for promotional purposes only.

State of the Re:Union is presented by WJCT and distributed by PRX.  Major funding for the State of the Re:Union comes from CPB, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Delores Barr Weaver Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida.

Thanks for your consideration of State of the Re:Union with Al Letson. 

 

Fronteras: Immigration Reform (Series)

Produced by Fronteras Desk

As various immigration reform proposals work their way through the U.S. Congress, Fronteras Desk dissects the proposals, the players, and the issues. A look at how comprehensive immigration reform could impact lives and livelihoods along the Southwest border and beyond.

Most recent piece in this series:

Foreign Retirees Could Benefit From Immigration Bill

From Fronteras Desk | Part of the Fronteras: Immigration Reform series | 03:51

Canadiancouple_t620_small Call it the snowbird provision. Buried in more than 800 pages of the immigration reform legislation currently under debate is a proposal that would allow Canadians to visit second homes in the U.S. for up to eight months a year. It’s one of two proposals in the bill aimed at boosting foreign retirements here. From the Fronteras Desk in Phoenix, Jude Joffe-Block reports.

American Dreamer: Sam's Story

From Long Haul Productions | 59:00

Every year, an estimated 65,000 undocumented students graduate from American high schools. Raised entirely in American culture, they finish high school only to find themselves in a peculiarly American limbo. "American Dreamer: Sam's Story" is a first-person longitudinal radio documentary sharing the experience of one of these kids.

Sam_small   “American Dreamer: Sam’s Story” tells the story of a talented and articulate young jazz musician named Sam, who was brought to the U.S. at age 5 by his Mexican parents. He stayed out of trouble, was drum major of his high school’s marching band, fell in love with playing jazz on the tenor sax, and got his diploma with honors– only to find that for an “illegal,” graduation marks a dead end. .  Though Sam dreams of attending college to study jazz performance, he hides his status from even his closest friends, and can’t legally work, drive, get financial aid, or even gain admission to some colleges.  "American Dreamer" follows him from his high school graduation, through the following summer, as he struggles to raise money to continue his education and weighs the risks of working and driving illegally against his own desire to achieve his American dream.

HV013- Crossing Borders

From Hearing Voices | Part of the Hearing Voices series | 54:00

A Tale of Two Countries: In "Sasabe," a Sonora, Mexico border town, Scott Carrier talks to immigrants on their hazardous, illegal desert crossing, and to the border patrol waiting for them in Sasabe, Arizona. Luis Alberto Urrea reads from "The Devil"s Highway," his book about death in the desert. Guillermo Gomez-Pena imagines "Maquiladoras of the Future," fantasy border factories. "And I walked...", by Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler, is a sound-portrait of Mexicans who risk their lives to find better-paying jobs in the United States.

Cinco150_small This is an episode in the series Hearing Voices from NPR now being offered as a standalone special.

Host: Marcos Martinez (fmr) of KUNM-Alberquerque

Summary: A Tale of Two Countries: In "Sasabe," a Sonora, Mexico border town, Scott Carrier talks to immigrants on their hazardous, illegal desert crossing, and to the border patrol waiting for them in Sasabe, Arizona. Luis Alberto Urrea reads from "The Devil"s Highway," his book about death in the desert. Guillermo Gomez-Pena imagines "Maquiladoras of the Future," fantasy border factories. "And I walked...", by Ann Heppermann and Kara Oehler, is a sound-portrait of Mexicans who risk their lives to find better-paying jobs in the United States.

Listener info and links:
HearingVoices.com/news/2008/05/hv013-crossing-borders/

0:15 On-Air Promo Text: This week on Hearing Voices: "Crossing Borders," a tale of two countries. Stories of coming from Mexico to the U.S., hosted by Marcos Martinez of KUMN-Alberquerque. That's Hearing Voices: "Crossing Borders," AIRTIME on STATION.


Crossing East - Asian American History series (Series)

Produced by Dmae Roberts

Peabody award-winning series of eight news-friendly one-hour documentaries on the many waves of Asian immigration. Hosted by George Takei and Margaret Cho.

Most recent piece in this series:

Crossing East: Relations

From Dmae Roberts | Part of the Crossing East - Asian American History series series | 58:28

Ellenchoy-lockdown-brooke_anderson_photography_small Crossing East: Relations focuses on historic and contemporary relationships and conflicts between Asian Americans and African Americans leading up to Asians4BlackLives support for Black Lives Matter. The documentary examines  stereotypes fostered by the myth of the “model minority” as a way to suggest one racial group is more successful and should be modeled by other racial groups. This stereotype has been used as racial wedge between communities of color.  As part of a 10th anniversary celebration of the Peabody-winning radio series Crossing East, which aired on 230 public radio stations around the country we’ve been producing this documentary as well gathering more than 100 hours of oral history recordings for the Crossing East Archive.


Interviews recorded by Crossing East producer Robynn Takayama in the Bay Area include:

Interviews recorded by Crossing East Executive producer Dmae Roberts and Alan Montecillo in Portland in collaboration with APANO’s Kara Carmosino. These include:

Thanksgiving story

From Holly Kernan | 05:51

A refugee remembers his first Thanksgiving

Default-piece-image-2 Commentator Andrew Lam remembers his first Thanksgiving in America, when he was a teenage refugee, fleeing war in his native Vietnam.But it was neither American history lessons nor Puritan cuisine that taught him the meaning of the holiday.... (this is a debut piece)

Immigrants and Jobs

From Carnegie Council | Part of the Global Ethics Corner series | 01:30

A Colombian immigrant was recently denied her investor's visa, forcing her to shut down her U.S. company and fire her six employees. Does immigration help or hurt American workers?

Globalethicscorner_logo1_medium_small Created and managed by Carnegie Council Senior Program Director and Senior Fellow William Vocke, Global Ethics Corner is a weekly 90-second segment devoted to newsworthy ethical issues.

Day Laborers

From World Vision Report | Part of the Stories from the World Vision Report series | 05:31

Arizona’s new immigration law has focused attention on immigration once again. Since debate on the controversial law began, there have been reports of immigrants leaving the state and going back home. The same thing’s happening in California, but there, it’s because people are having a hard time finding jobs in the current shaky economy. Daysha Eaton reports.

Wvus_podcast_logo_300x300-upd-font_small
If you air this piece, please include a back announce saying "This piece originally aired on the World Vision Report." or "This piece came to us from the World Vision Report."

Latitude News Podcast #9 — Mexican, undocumented...Mormon?

From Latitude News | 15:09

A personal story from a growing demographic

Mormon-temple-salt-lake_small The Mormon Church could be majority Latin American by 2015, and our newest podcast hones in on one person among those faithful masses. At the young age of 23, Isaac has learned more than most about watching the future slip through his fingers. The trials he has faced help shape his outlook on life. “When we let fear take over us,” he says, “we lose faith, and when we lose faith, we don’t have a future.” In some ways, this podcast is a small story about a personal journey of faith. But from other angles, it’s much bigger than that. And it touches on an issue making headlines every day—immigration—in what might be a surprising context—the Mormon Church.

Episode 12: Canta Y No Llores

From Decode DC | Part of the DecodeDC series | 19:37

In the first of a two-part series on immigration, DecodeDC looks at how humor can get closer to a problem than political talking points ever could. Special thanks this week to Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language radio program telling uniquely Latin American stories.

Mexico-border_small In the first of a two-part series on immigration, DecodeDC looks at how humor can get closer to a problem than political talking points ever could.  Special thanks this week to Radio Ambulante, a Spanish-language radio program telling uniquely Latin American stories.  Check them out at http://radioambulante.org/!

Undocumented and Undaunted: DREAMer Artists Speak Out

From Making Contact | Part of the Making Contact series | 29:00

The struggles of undocumented youth in the US often fly under the radar of the mainstream media. But with the tools of creative expression and the power of social media, a new generation of young immigrants is making sure their voices are heard. From musical theater to political posters to videos on the web, young undocumented artists speak their truth.

Special thanks to the Left Tilt Fund and the Berwick-Degel Family Foundation.

Episode_pic_for_17-13_small

The struggles of undocumented youth in the US often fly under the radar of the mainstream media. But with the tools of creative expression and the power of social media, a new generation of young immigrants is making sure their voices are heard. On this edition, young undocumented artists speak their truth, as the world listens.

Special thanks to the Left Tilt Fund and the Berwick-Degel Family Foundation.  

Invisible Americans: Stories from the New Immigrants

From Black Swan Arts | 59:00

Invisible Americans: Stories from the New Immigrants explores the lives of immigrants through the eyes of children. “One of the values of seeing the immigrant experience through the eyes of children, is that children don’t lie. Children get to the heart of the matter and tell you what they see. They open their hearts in the sincerest and most unshielded ways. And that’s why they’re such a valuable window on the immigrant experience. You want to know the truth, ask a child.” Alan Kraut, Immigration Historian and Chair of the Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island History Advisory Committee

We_are_human_small Immigration is in the news every day.  But we rarely hear the stories of immigrants in their own words.
 
“At times of rapid social and demographic change, such as the story of immigrant America today, the need for understanding is absolutely crucial.  The best way to understand is not with statistics, not with theories, not with politicians trying to stir up emotions.  It’s through the simple human stories.  Especially those told by children, by the most innocent because the honesty of them comes through.  Stories have Velcro.  Stories will stick to the mind.  And in doing so you will remember them and you will better understand the stories of those who came from Vietnam, from Cambodia, from Yemen, from Guatemala, from Mexico. And you will better understand how the combination of all those stories is what makes the United States today.”  
Rubén Rumbaut, Professor of Sociology, University of California, Irvine

Synopsis

Invisible Americans journeys into the heart of the immigrant experience and the identity of America itself, interweaving oral histories collected by elementary-age children with historical analysis against a rich score of original music and sound design that evokes the extraordinary cultural gifts that immigrants bring to America.  

Invisible Americans: Stories from the New Immigrants tells the story of an America undergoing the greatest demographic change since the 19th & 20th century immigration waves from Eastern and Western Europe.  Now immigrants are coming in unprecedented numbers from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Latin America—and beyond. 

Details

In 2004, ALICE Arts created an oral history theatre program called the
Ancestor Project .  Over a six-year period, ALICE collected more than 400 oral histories.  Although these stories come from a tiny little corner of Oakland, California they cover the globe—from Yemen to Guatemala, from Liberia to East Texas, and from Cambodia to the Gold Coast of Africa.  And this diversity of cultures can be found in communities across the country.

Invisible Americans also shows how the experiences of 6 million African-Americans traveling from the South to the North and West during the Great Migration of the 20th century parallels that of other immigrants—except that they were immigrants within their own country .  That seminal American story has also too often been overlooked by the greater society.  

Final Note

When we tap into the imaginative lives of children—including the children of immigrants—and help them find their poetry, their art, their story, then these children and their parents who work as roofers, nurses’ assistants and gardeners are no longer invisible .  We see them for who they are—carriers of history and culture.  Our job is to help them tell the story, because it is our story, the American story

To Date or Not To Date? That is the Chinese Immigrant Teenager's Question

From Philly Youth Radio | Part of the At the Heart, From the Heart series | 04:40

Philly Youth Radio’s Yingci Chen is a first generation Chinese immigrant. She's noticed that Chinese immigrant parents often don't want their kids to date as teenagers, which can cause problems when the kids disagree. Here is her investigation.

Img_4628_small Immigrants can often have their feet in two or more cultures. That’s the case for Philly Youth Radio’s Yingci Chen, a first generation Chinese immigrant and sophomore at Bodine High School. She’s got one foot planted in the culture she sees in the US, and her other foot in the lessons her parents teach her.

Fatima Learns to Drive

From Sarah Bromer | 04:42

Fatima Alsamawi, a recent immigrant to the United States from Iraq, experiences the sweet freedom of driving for the first time.

Fatima_and_rana_celebrate_small Americans famously love to drive.  But in some countries, it's a form of freedom and indpencedence that doesn't come easily, especially for women. Producer Sarah Bromer accompanies Fatima Alsamawi--a recent immigrant from Iraq--as she takes the Arizona Driver's Permit Test and then attempts to drive for the first time.