Homeland is a documentary series that demonstrates one of America’s most dividing issues of today. Produced by the Nine Network of Public Media in St. Louis, and narrated by Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for the NewsHour, the series explores the leading immigration concerns in America. Homeland presents the contemporary stories of immigrants (and refugees), of those who encounter and interact with immigrants, and of policy experts whose agendas affect the lives of immigrants. Through these stories, immigration emerges as more than just a political issue, but a long-term cultural and economical concern that has an ongoing effect on individuals, families, and communities across America. The series is broken into three hour-long segments, each exploring a different facet of the immigration narrative.
This episode of Homeland elaborates on immigration laws and programs as they relate to the economy. Small towns, big cities, farms, factories, and research laboratories are placed under a lens. Are immigrants helping the economy grow, or setting us back? In the midst of an economic crisis, what must immigration laws focus on: keeping undocumented immigrants out, or welcoming the world’s best and brightest, and dependable workers into our country?
Attitudes about immigration enforcement have been rapidly changing, with the stricter reform passed in Arizona, and the Obama administration’s recent policy change granting worker visas to young migrants, there is much debate about how to police a complex national policy in close communities. Homeland’s episode “Enforcement” illustrates the lengthy process of attaining citizenship legally, the inconsistencies in the legal system, and policemen who have to choose between enforcing the law and building trust with documented and undocumented immigrants in integrated communities.
Often battling physical and mental scars, tackling a language barrier, and lacking marketable skills, refugees are faced with the challenge of integration into American culture. America admits more refugees than any other country, but the resettlement process is complicated and difficult. Homeland tells the stories of refugees from all around the world. This episode shows the resettlement programs that work, and where they are inadequate in assisting refugees in adjusting to their new lives. The communities in which they resettle can come with a host of their own issues – poverty and crime – often determining the outcome of their transition. These factors play a critical role in whether refugees will find stability and success, or poverty and isolation in America.