We the People: Immigrant Stories and Experiences

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
We the People: Immigrant Stories and Experiences TV Poster Image
Lighthearted immigration stories challenge and humanize.

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Positive Messages

People who migrate to the U.S. have varied expectations, experiences -- some fun, some difficult, some confusing. Stereotypes about the U.S. and Americans are discussed. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Participants are contributors to American society and appreciate living in the United States. 

Violence
Sex
Language

Some strong words like "bitch" occasionally used. 

Consumerism

References to American eateries like McDonald's, American TV shows, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References to beer. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that We the People: Immigrant Stories and Experiences is a documentary series featuring interviews with a diverse group of people who have immigrated to the United States. Their stories are lighthearted and upbeat, and challenge common misconceptions about immigrants. Some of the stereotypes they had about Americans before arriving, difficulties in getting visas, and a few of the hurdles they faced upon arrival are discussed. TV shows like Seinfeld and brands like McDonald's are referenced, and there's some occasional strong language. Families looking for insight on this complex experience can definitely learn from this series. 

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What's the story?

WE THE PEOPLE: IMMIGRANT STORIES AND EXPERIENCES is a 10-episode series available on YouTube featuring people talking about what it was like to migrate to the United States. From Mexico and Canada, and from countries like Bangladesh, Iraq, and France, immigrants share personal stories about what it was like for them to move to, and what it's like to live in, the United States. Participants talk about what they thought America was like before arriving, and the various TV shows and consumer products that had shaped their thinking and later, helped them adjust to their new lives. They also look back at the various challenges they faced when they arrived, including learning how to keep up with fast-speaking Americans, and giving up on getting people to pronounce their names correctly. Some also discuss the difficulties they face trying to hold on to their cultural heritage. 

Is it any good?

This fun, positive series highlights the different experiences people have when they come to live in the United States. It reveals some of the stereotypes people have about the U.S., and how these were challenged for the people featured when they arrived. Immigrants also lightheartedly discuss some of the things they loved when they arrived (like eating cereal), and the things they've had to adjust to (including American interpretations of their ethnic foods). 

Given the long-standing controversies surrounding immigration in the United States, We the People offers a refreshingly upbeat way of thinking about the immigrant experience. But the diverse group of participants featured here also challenges common misconceptions about who immigrants are, how they look, and what their attitudes are about coming to the United States. Most importantly, the series allows viewers to hear what it's like to immigrate from another country through each person's unique, and very human, lens. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it is like to immigrate to another country. Would it be exciting or scary (or both)? What kinds of things would you miss when you left? 

  • There's a lot of talk about immigration in the media. How many of these discussions rely on stereotypes? How does We the People fit into the overall conversation? 

  • Is there someone in your family history who was an immigrant? Do you know what that person's immigrant story is? How has his or her immigration to the U.S. impacted your life?

  • Families can talk about communication. Why is it an important character strength? How do these people communicate their own stories? 

TV details

Character Strengths

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