Immigration. The word holds no shortage of opinions. From politicians debating it behind podiums to family members arguing sides at the dinner table, it seems we’ve heard everyone’s voice on the matter—everyone except the immigrants themselves. What are their stories? What can we learn from them? In an inspiring new one-hour documentary, Roadtrip Nation: Beyond the Dream sets aside the political noise surrounding the immigration debate, and gives voice to those whose perspectives have been drowned out: undocumented immigrants.
Bringing to light the stories of those living in the shadows, Beyond the Dream tracks the heartbreaking struggles, hardworking achievements, and cautious dreams of three “DACAmented” youth—immigrants who were brought to this country at a young age not by choice, but by their parents, and have temporary relief from deportation, but not legal status. Viewers join the DACAmented youth on a journey, following them as they interview fellow immigrants to hear how they’ve dealt with obstacles. The young road-trippers speak with successful immigrants who have walked the path before them —like Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, Orange is the New Black actress Diane Guerrero, and more.
Through these interviews, they learn that a piece of paper doesn’t define their identity. In their hearts, they know who they are—they’re Americans—and they know that the best defense against those who deny them is to continue leading authentic lives in pursuit of their dreams.
Join Rachel, Alexis, and Pratishtha as they face the same questions most young adults grapple with as they make life choices: Should I go to graduate school? Which career should I pursue? What if I chose the wrong path?
But while most post-grads see the future as a fog of uncertainty that will surely clear up, for these three, the future remains indiscernible.
An immigration policy called DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) has allowed them to live and work in the U.S. for a 2-year period. But without long-term protections, Rachel, Alexis, and Pratishtha have a much graver question to ponder; one that threatens to derail any plan they make: “Will I be able to stay in this country that is my home?”
Alexis, 23, Brought here from Mexicali at age 5, Alexis is driven by the knowledge that he has a chance many all over the world wish for. When American factories took over his family’s border town, gutting the local economy, his mother made the decision to come to the U.S.
Rachel, 23, With hope of legal status dwindling, Rachel’s parents decided to return to South Korea. Now alone in the country she knows as home, Rachel is caught in between the Americanness she feels so deeply- and reminders that she’s not quite an American. She wants to reclaim her identity as an immigrant and learn about the experiences of others like her.
Pratishtha, 25, Her father lived in the U.S. for 15 years, but after he died there was no record of him ever existing. That’s why her rebellion against the system has been to make herself visible. Now she’s studying for the MCAT and wants to continue to make stories like hers visible and to show others like her a way forward.
Discover more information regarding DACA, The Dream Act and Immigration reform here: Beyond the Dream curriculum resource list from KQED
Roadtrip Nation: Beyond the Dream
is made possible by:
About Roadtrip Nation
Roadtrip Nation started in 2001 when three friends fresh out of college weren’t sure what to do with their lives. Their solution? To road-trip around the country and ask people who do what they love how they got to where they are today. What started as a road trip sparked an annual documentary series, a number of books, online tools, and an educational organization—all dedicated to helping individuals define their own roads in life. In 2009, Roadtrip Nation expanded into education with the creation of The Roadtrip Nation Experience, a project-based self-discovery curriculum designed to help students explore their identities and find careers aligned with their interests. Today, Roadtrip Nation continues to empower individuals to create meaningful lives doing what they love. To learn more about Roadtrip Nation, visit www.roadtripnation.com. For more information about Roadtrip Nation in education, visit www.roadtripnation.org.
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most-listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places, and ideas.
About American Public Television
APT (APTonline.org) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. Since 2004, APT has distributed approximately half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies, including For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots, A Ripple of Hope, Rick Steves’ Europe, Newsline, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope, America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia’s Italy, P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, Midsomer Murders, Moyers & Company, Doc Martin, Rosemary & Thyme, BBC World News, The Rat Pack: Live and Swingin’, Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful! and John Denver: The Wildlife Concert. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched and nationally distributed Create® – the TV channel featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD™ channel expansion project including its web presence at WORLDcompass.org. For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org. For more information on Create, visit CreateTV.com.