New PBS film probes construction boom on Latino workers

New PBS film probes construction boom on Latino workers


RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) – Since the Great Recession, cities like Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, and Hobbs, New Mexico, have seen construction booms. Homes and skyscrapers have popped up almost overnight thanks to cheap labor Latino immigrants provide contractors.

But at what cost?

“Building the American Dream,” a new VOCES/PBS documentary, examines the effects of this construction boom in the American Southwest on Latino workers by telling the stories of those erecting buildings in Texas.

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The film dives into the lives of one Mexican immigrant family in Texas after their construction worker son dies while on the job.

A Salvadorian electrician couple is cheated out of wages and tries to force a contractor to pay despite having no union to back them up,

Meanwhile, advocates work to try to convince lawmakers and city officials to make lives better for workers, not by demanding insurance or workers’ compensation, but through a simple request: water breaks.

Director Chelsea Hernandez said she’d been

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