Apple TV’s Immigration Series ‘Little America’ Assails U.S. Immigration Policies

Apple TV's Immigration Series 'Little America' Assails U.S. Immigration Policies
Apple TV+

Little America, a new series on Apple TV+, highlights stories about immigrants and refugees in the U.S. but spends a ton of time undermining America’s immigration enforcement and laws.

Each episode of the series features the story of a different immigrant or family, and the stories range across time from the 1970s to the modern day. But a through line, a central theme of many of the episodes in the series quickly becomes clear: to lament and attack America’s immigration policies.

In one case, in an episode set in the year 2003 entitled “The Manager,” a 12-year-old boy is forced to manage his father’s motel because his parents were deported back to India. Kabir (Eshan Inamdar) is so distraught in the episode that he seeks out first lady Laura Bush (Sherilyn Fenn), who is portrayed as heartlessly bushing the boy off.

The young boy is portrayed as a contestant at the 2003 National Spelling Bee, where Mrs. Bush appears to talk to the children. In the scene, the boy inappropriately asks Bush to “do something” about his deported parents. Bush callously waves the boy off, telling him to write a letter to her office.

In another episode, “The Jaguar,” the central character is a teenaged girl who broke immigration laws sneaking into the U.S. from Mexico. The episode shows how terrible Marisol’s (Jearnest Corchado) life is in the U.S. as she is forced to live in a dirty garage owned by a man who tells the girl and her illegal alien mother that he won’t fix the place up because they are illegals. The episode also portrays the girl as an excellent athlete who is afraid to compete in her sport because her immigration status could be discovered and she could be deported.

This Apple TV + series does not specifically mention Donald Trump, but according to series producer Lee Eisenberg, it was meant to be a direct challenge to the Trump administration and its strict immigration policies.

In a recent article at the Washington Post, Eisenberg claimed that he conceived the series as an answer to Donald Trump’s election as president.

Not all of the eight episodes are in-your-face stories about illegal aliens. Several are about legal immigrants, and at least one is about a refugee. But as Eisenberg and fellow producer Alan Yang noted, the series is meant as a direct attack on the anti-immigrant ideology to which they assume Donald Trump and his voters ascribe. It’s also produced by actor Kumail Nanjiani, who just last July said that the “fate of the world” hinges on defeating President Trump.

In a way, Little America is taking a similar track as the new Freeform series, Party of Five. The show, a reboot of the popular 1990s series, features a family of Mexican-American children whose illegal alien parents are deported back to Mexico. The series is politically charged in many ways as these children are forced to navigate the world without their parents, who are deported because of “heartless” U.S. immigration laws. However, since the show has come four years into the Trump administration, Party of Five avoids mentioning Donald Trump or his specific policies by name.

Meanwhile and with nearly no media coverage, the Trump administration has practically emptied the holding facilities that had become overcrowded since the Obama administration, and lowered illegal crossings by 78 percent.

Arguably, the Trump administration’s success in preventing further illegal immigration has decreased the chances that illegal immigrants might fall into harsh living conditions while staying illegally inside the U.S.

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