Building the American Dream

Building the American Dream

Tue, 09/15/2020 - 10:00pm - 11:00pm

Claudia and Alex are electricians working in Texas who emigrated from El Salvador

Credit: Courtesy of Moyo Oyelola

Follow immigrant construction workers in Texas organizing for safer and fairer working conditions.

Building the American Dream, airing Tuesday, September 15 at 10 p.m. on WXXI-TV, tells the powerful story of immigrant construction workers fighting for justice in an industry rife with exploitation. The program takes viewers to Texas, the site of a massive construction boom heralded as the “Texas Miracle.” Its dirty secret: the abuse of immigrant workers. The film captures the rise of a workers’ movement, fighting widespread construction industry injustices – from non-payment of wages to deadly work conditions.

Grieving their son who died a heat-related death on a construction site, the Granillo family campaigns for a much-needed safety law that would allow workers 10-minute breaks for every four hours of labor. Claudia and Alex, a Salvadoran couple, are skilled electricians owed thousands in back pay who fight for their children’s future. And Christian, a bereaved son, hopes to protect others from his family’s preventable tragedy. Through their stories of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals eye-opening truths about the hardworking immigrants who build our American Dream.

“We’re proud to present this timely documentary about Latino essential workers who are advocating for more equitable working conditions,” said Sandie Viquez Pedlow, executive director of LPB and executive producer of VOCES. “As we hear about the Latino workers whose jobs are considered essential and are bearing a disproportionate burden during this pandemic, this film is a stark reminder of all the Latinos who work in dangerous conditions to keep our nation running during good times and bad.” 

Building the American Dream repeats Friday, September 18 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-World.