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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

FX TO DEBUT DRAMA SERIES INVOLVING ILLEGALLY PRESENT IMMIGRANTS

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Good news from Digital Spy:


FX is developing a new drama project focusing on an illegal Mexican immigrant who works as a private investigator.

Deadline reports that the pilot episode will be written by Chap Taylor, known for his work on the 2002 film thriller Changing Lanes.

Taylor described the show as "Traffic meets Chinatown" and explained that the central character would tap into "an invisible network" of immigrants.

"[Immigrants are] people we don't pay attention to who see everything," he claimed. "The theme [of the show] is about helping the powerless in a corrupt society who can be from the immigrant or the Anglo community."


Who knows whether the show will be good, but simply portraying illegally present immigrants on television in more than a cursery or two-dimensional way is probably positive. One of the problems in the immigration debate today is that people more readily accept the demonization of immigrants when they don't actually know any personally.


One way to address this problem is for the media to help people "know" minorities via introducing them to minority characters.There have been lots of studies over the decades showing this. Attitudes toward blacks started to change once sitcoms about African-American families started to find top slots in prime time. Gay characters are now regularly written in to television shows and that has coincided with more tolerance reflected in opinion research on issues like same-sex marriage and military service.


Latinos are still not portrayed as often as you might expect given their portion of the population. The George Lopez Show and Ugly Betty are two exceptions and both showed that general audiences are interested in shows with Latino characters. Illegally present immigrant characters are almost never portrayed, though the revelation that Betty's father, Ignacio, was illegally present and hid that fact from his daughters, was probably a first. More characters like Ignacio on television won't instantly soften the hearts of all of those with anti-immigration views, but it would be a start.

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Comments

  1. Another Voice's Avatar
    Is weird that this idea would come from FOX as FX is part of FOX entertainment.
  2. Jim's Avatar
    Rupert Murdoch himself keeps saying that he is pro-immigration reform and he dismissed that Fox is anti-immigrant. However, he also said that he welcomes all views. I guess, it just so happens that majority in Fox are antis.
  3. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    FOX is a large media company. They have a lot of competing views within different divisions.

    It is however interesting that Greg considers illegal immigrants a new class in this country. Seems to me Americans are getting used to illegal immigration as an inevitable condition that does not need to be solved.
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