Only in America with Ali Noorani
Summary: What really drives the immigration debate? It’s people, not politics. Join us for “Only in America” podcast, to hear how Americans from all walks of life and from across the political spectrum are experiencing changes in their communities as a result of immigration. Faith leaders, law enforcement officials, business owners and others speak openly about the way culture, identity and values are shaping and defining our country, and they offer a constructive way forward in the immigration debate.
This time, Ali meets the Texas Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran, who represents District 3 in San Antonio, Texas, where she was born and raised. She tells Ali about the importance of social justice in her politics, the influence of "radical nuns", and how fixing the sidewalks is at the core of her mission.
This week, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Art Cullen talks to Ali in his home town, Storm Lake, IA, which has welcomed immigrants for generations from Vietnam to Guatemala. Storm Lake's population and economy continue to grow, bucking the trend of other Iowa cities and serving as a model for integration and diversity.
This week, actor Diane Guerrero, from "Orange is the New Black" and "Jane the Virgin", talks with Ali about her latest book, and the story of her immigrant parents' deportation when she was just 14. Diane has already experienced the pain and the challenges facing separated children, and draws parallels with the migrant children who've been separated at the southern border by the Trump Administration. Her book highlights the long-term mental damage the experience inflicted on her, and now on many others.
This week, Ali chats with Sarah Quezada, immigration rights advocate and author of "Love Undocumented - Risking Trust in a Fearful World". And he examines the long-term folly of America turning it's back on the world refugee crisis.
Only in America could a small boy from South Korea, who fled the war in Vietnam, grow up to be elected to a position that Thomas Jefferson and George Washington once held. Ali chats with Mark Keam, who represents Virginia's 35th District in the House of Delegates, about bringing his immigrant experience to modern-day American democracy.
This week, Ali meets leading sociologist Dr. Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California. His latest book is "State of Resistance - What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Mean for America’s Future". He tells Ali that the future of American success can be found in the way California has transformed it's politics, work, environment and immigration policies since the turbulent 1980's.
This week, Ali mourns the passing of Senator John McCain, a strong advocate of "American Exceptionalism." And he chats with another Vietnam veteran - Former Idaho Chief Justice Jim Jones, who is championing the rights of American immigrants and migrants.
This week, Ali meets author Gena Thomas, who with her husband fostered a 4-year-old undocumented girl from Honduras. Gena talks about putting Christianity into action - starting with tortillas, and ending with "Shalom".
This week, Ali talks with Ronald Brownstein, Atlantic Media's Editorial Director for Strategic Partnerships and a veteran political journalist. They talk baseball, America's changing demographics, and the prospects for the upcoming elections amid the controversy surrounding the Trump administration's immigration policies.
This week Ali chats with three authors whose work captures the contemporary conversation surrounding immigration and American identity. Michelle Warren Dr. Sandro Galea Jorge Ramos
This week, New York City Councilman Carlos Menchaca tells Ali Noorani how he got elected - by listening to the needs of the diverse communities he now serves, and empowering them to become active citizens in the democratic process. Plus, an update on the separated migrant children still without their parents.
Ali talks with Wendy Young, President and CEO of Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) about the thousands of refugee children separated from their parents at the southern border. And later, how the World Cup recharged the immigration debate in Europe.
Mark Prosser, the Chief of Police in Storm Lake, IA talks about how the crime rate there has fallen as the town's immigrant population grows. He tells Ali about his policing strategy, how the town has embraced new residents, and how President Trump's policies may make people fearful of reporting crimes for fear of deportation.
This week, Ali talks with author Laura Wides-Muñoz, about her book "The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What it Means to be American." And, as hundreds of migrant children remain separated from their parents, the number of deportations of naturalized citizens is increasing.
This week's Independence Day show features 16-year-old Fez Zafar, who brought Des Moines High School students together for a series of Iftar dinners; Hector Barajas, a deported US Army veteran who's returned to California after 14 years in exile; and Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.