New PBS film probes construction boom on Latino workers

A brand new movie is analyzing the consequences of the development growth within the American Southwest on Latino employees

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — For the reason that Nice Recession, towns like Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Hobbs, New Mexico, have noticed development booms. Houses and skyscrapers have popped up virtually in a single day due to affordable hard work Latino immigrants supply contractors.

However at what price?

“Development the American Dream,” a brand new VOCES/PBS documentary, examines the consequences of this development growth within the American Southwest on Latino employees by means of telling the tales of the ones erecting structures in Texas.

The movie dives into the lives of 1 Mexican immigrant circle of relatives in Texas after their development employee son dies whilst at the process.

A Salvadorian electrician couple is cheated out of wages and tries to pressure a contractor to pay regardless of having no union to again them up,

In the meantime, advocates paintings to take a look at to persuade lawmakers and town officers to make lives higher for employees, now not by means of challenging insurance coverage or employees’ repayment, however thru a easy request: water breaks.

Director Chelsea Hernandez mentioned she’d been running at the movie since 2009 and its a microcosm of the exploitation Latino development employees face within the U.S.

“It’s one thing that got here organically and by means of speaking to the employees I met,” mentioned Hernandez, a third-generation Mexican American filmmaker from Austin, Texas.

She was once presented to her topics and the advocacy workforce the Staff Protection Undertaking after looking at the employees plight in Texas, which outlaws maximum laws geared toward protective laborers. Industry leaders in Texas tout its low price in development to draw funding however it comes whilst exploiting prone employees, some without a immigration standing, Hernandez mentioned.

The movie, regardless that a partnership with Latino Public Broadcasting, is scheduled to start out airing on maximum PBS stations on Tuesday to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month in the USA. It is going to even be to be had for streaming on PBS.


Russell Contreras is a member of The Related Press’ Race and Ethnicity Crew. Observe him on Twitter at:

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