Immigration

There are many news stories about the assimilation of Vietnamese youth into American society as honor students and valedictorians. But one group of Vietnamese immigrants has had trouble - the Amerasian children of U.S. servicemen and Vietnamese mothers.

As many as 100,000 Amerasian children were left in Vietnam when the American troops pulled out. Most endured lives of poverty and prejudice. Recently the U.S. has allowed a few Amerasians to migrate to the United States. But American life does not always meet the expectations of these young refugees, and they often don't measure up to the hopes and demands of their new homes.

Undercover in the Fouzhou Province of China, a team of filmmakers initiate negotiations to bring Chinese slave labor into the United States. Shooting with a specially-designed hidden camera, slave traders, or snakeheads, are found on every corner, eager to bargain their fellow countrymen into indentured servitude. Snakeheads can be found even in the Chinese government. There is so much money in the trade that the crew was offered multimillion dollar bribes to facilitate business deals in the US. In fact, recent estimations from China conclude that there are over 100 million unemployed displaced Chinese workers desperately seeking a job. Given that the pool of potential illegal immigrants is so huge, and the system for getting them in is so efficient, some experts predict the U.S. will soon be inundated by Chinese immigrants in numbers unprecedented since almost 100 years ago.

In the first days of World War II, 120,000 Japanese-Americans were taken from their homes and locked in concentration camps for the duration of the war. They lost their homes, their businesses, their friends, and their privileges.

For 40 years, the people who were sent away remained silent. "We wanted to show we were 200% American. We never complained, but the scars were deep." Invisible Citizens examines the lives of six Japanese-Americans and explores how they have been affected by the internment.

The first in-depth look at a group of people whose pride has kept their pain and suffering concealed from the general public, Invisible Citizens prompts viewers to consider America's "hidden histories" and how we, as a people, look at our past.

Each year some 20,000 Chinese immigrants arrive in New York City. Though few speak English, all know one word - "Chinatown."

Tourism is the major industry of Chinatown, but beneath a veneer of firework-filled celebrations are a people desperately struggling against language and cultural barriers. Poverty dominates. Chinatown's dilapidated housing is the oldest in the city, yet rents are among the highest. Tuberculosis and diabetes rates are three times the national average.

"This is the story of our neighbors," says co-Producer/Director Jon Alpert, and the resulting "reportage from within" reveals kitchen workers earning less than $100 for sixty-hour weeks and garment workers laboring for microscopic wages in hazardous conditions.

Welcome to Canal Street: First Stop in America.

Less than a mile long, Canal Street is one of the dirtiest and noisiest, but also among the most vibrant and dynamic, streets in New York City. For over a century, new immigrants have expected Canal Street to furnish the American Dream, to give them a place to work hard and build a future.

Emmy® Award-winning director/producer Keiko Tsuno and Asian-American issues specialist Peter Kwong take us on an insiders-only journey into life on this make-it-or-break-it street. From the bustling underground world of counterfeit goods to street vendors, shanty towns and sweatshops, hardworking people subject not only to the difficulties of their labor, but also to a street with a law of its own, struggle not only to survive but to make their dreams come true.

There are many news stories about the assimilation of Vietnamese youth into American society as honor students and valedictorians. But one group of Vietnamese immigrants has had trouble - the Amerasian children of U.S. servicemen and Vietnamese mothers.

As many as 100,000 Amerasian children were left in Vietnam when the American troops pulled out. Most endured lives of poverty and prejudice. Recently the U.S. has allowed a few Amerasians to migrate to the United States. But American life does not always meet the expectations of these young refugees, and they often don't measure up to the hopes and demands of their new homes.

Undercover in the Fouzhou Province of China, a team of filmmakers initiate negotiations to bring Chinese slave labor into the United States. Shooting with a specially-designed hidden camera, slave traders, or snakeheads, are found on every corner, eager to bargain their fellow countrymen into indentured servitude. Snakeheads can be found even in the Chinese government. There is so much money in the trade that the crew was offered multimillion dollar bribes to facilitate business deals in the US. In fact, recent estimations from China conclude that there are over 100 million unemployed displaced Chinese workers desperately seeking a job. Given that the pool of potential illegal immigrants is so huge, and the system for getting them in is so efficient, some experts predict the U.S. will soon be inundated by Chinese immigrants in numbers unprecedented since almost 100 years ago.

In the first days of World War II, 120,000 Japanese-Americans were taken from their homes and locked in concentration camps for the duration of the war. They lost their homes, their businesses, their friends, and their privileges.

For 40 years, the people who were sent away remained silent. "We wanted to show we were 200% American. We never complained, but the scars were deep." Invisible Citizens examines the lives of six Japanese-Americans and explores how they have been affected by the internment.

The first in-depth look at a group of people whose pride has kept their pain and suffering concealed from the general public, Invisible Citizens prompts viewers to consider America's "hidden histories" and how we, as a people, look at our past.

Each year some 20,000 Chinese immigrants arrive in New York City. Though few speak English, all know one word - "Chinatown."

Tourism is the major industry of Chinatown, but beneath a veneer of firework-filled celebrations are a people desperately struggling against language and cultural barriers. Poverty dominates. Chinatown's dilapidated housing is the oldest in the city, yet rents are among the highest. Tuberculosis and diabetes rates are three times the national average.

"This is the story of our neighbors," says co-Producer/Director Jon Alpert, and the resulting "reportage from within" reveals kitchen workers earning less than $100 for sixty-hour weeks and garment workers laboring for microscopic wages in hazardous conditions.

Welcome to Canal Street: First Stop in America.

Less than a mile long, Canal Street is one of the dirtiest and noisiest, but also among the most vibrant and dynamic, streets in New York City. For over a century, new immigrants have expected Canal Street to furnish the American Dream, to give them a place to work hard and build a future.

Emmy® Award-winning director/producer Keiko Tsuno and Asian-American issues specialist Peter Kwong take us on an insiders-only journey into life on this make-it-or-break-it street. From the bustling underground world of counterfeit goods to street vendors, shanty towns and sweatshops, hardworking people subject not only to the difficulties of their labor, but also to a street with a law of its own, struggle not only to survive but to make their dreams come true.

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